Becoming a parent can be an overwhelming experience when thinking about attachment and bonding, as well as feeding and sleeping in the beginning. Then there’s education, dealing with behavior or the friendship groups and how well your child fits in. Never mind the physical and psychological considerations from coughs and colds to the more serious physical and mental issues that can arise from illness or other diagnosis.
The fear and mental processing of all this can cause anxiety in families. Parents can feel like they go through a military exercise or daily tick list just to get to the end of each day. It can become too easy to miss just sitting for 20 minutes for relaxing quality time together. Emotional and relational aspects don’t always stand a chance.
Hug-a-Bug books are designed to support you to spend time with your child by reading stories together as you build emotional relationships with them. And if you would like to deepen the experience further here are some helpful questions to build rapport with them alongside the stories to help them express their thoughts and feelings:
- Who are your favourite characters?
- Why are they your favorite characters?
- What do you think about the story and what happened?
- Did the story make you feel happy or sad?
- What would you do if it happened to you?
- Who would you talk to about your feelings?
- What do you like to do to make yourself happy?
These open questions not only help children to express their feelings, but assist them to identify their feelings in the first place. It is a first step in helping them to begin problem-solving the emotional difficulties they may face. Whilst we can talk to and teach children, it is also important to listen and understand how children experience the world around them. Then we can expand their thoughts by offering them other options. Building these interactions into our relationships, children become more likely to use the same process when they have a problem of their own.