Every night before bedtime, Carol would hear uncontrollable laughter coming from her son’s room all the way to the kitchen. Ted’s giggles and chuckles would go on for about ten minutes as part of the bedtime routine. Evan, Carol’s husband, chooses the time to bond with his toddler right before he goes to sleep. The commotion comes from their make-believe superhero sword duels, pillow fights, and tickle sessions that end up in neighbors asking what all the ruckus was about the night before. Ted always looks forward to seeing his Dad walk into his room because he enjoys the special time they have together.
There is no script. Evan walks into the room after a long day at work with a goofy look on his face. Ted immediately picks up the queue to let the fun begin. The routine ends with Ted digging into his basket filled with children's books to hand over his favorite choice of book to his Dad. The read aloud settles him down before the lights are turned off.
Dr. Markham (2021) stresses that having ‘special time’ with your child is the antidote for parents and children. It is, indeed, an essential nutrient to deepen the father-son relationship making the child realize that he is valuable and important to his father’s world. The Child Development studies (A Daily Experience, n.d.) evidently show that spending time together while reading aloud not only strengthens the child's language and listening skills but also the emotional connections between the parent and child.
Ted’s evening routine ended when he started attending late sports training, or reviewing for exams as he got older. Evan made sure he continued his special time with Ted. They would shoot hoops on the weekends or simply talk about their day over dinner. As Dr. Gottman (1997) emphasizes that parents continually need to adjust their lives to accommodate their child’s latest needs, wants, fears, interests and competencies. Despite all the changes, Ted’s urgent desire is for an emotional connection with his loving, caring Dad.
When adults seek help for their child’s challenges, it does not mean they are incompetent parents. The child may just require extra support in the areas of building self-esteem, being resilient, making good decisions, sustaining harmonious relationships or regulating emotions that are beyond one's parenting ability.
At Fundamentals we collaborate with parents to advance every step of their child's emotional state. Book a free consultation with us today.
*Names have been changed in the story for anonymity
(n.d.). Child Development: A Daily Experience, A Lifelong Benefit. Reach Out & Read. Retrieved March, 2021 from https://reachoutandread.org/why-we-matter/child-development/
Gottman, J. Ph.D. (1997). Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks.
Markham, L. (2017). What’s So Special About Special Time? Aha! Parenting Blog. Retrieved March, 2021 from https://www.ahaparenting.com/blog/How_To_Special_Time