My daughter and I just returned from visiting my parents sans my husband (who couldn't get away from work stuff), which was a blast. You would think it would be a tad stressful traveling, but it was actually a primo experience, full of bonding time. We had to tap into our Mama-Kiddo teamwork with juggling bags, both of us helped each other stay patient while waiting in long security lines, we chatted about what we saw all around.
Spending time together, doing an activity is a great way to bond and build that foundation of communication, as well as boost her confidence. That special time also teaches her that happiness isn't something we can touch and doesn't come from a thing you buy, it is something you experience. Now, since we aren't jetting off every other week, I was thinking of ways that she and I can bond and keep that self-esteem growing on a more regular basis.
Learn something - Whether it's knitting or studying all of the constellations or learning a new language or work your way through a cool cookbook, something you can both start off at the same point and discover together is a prime way to bond as well as build inner self-worth. Hint: if you are learning something together and she says "I can do it, Mom!," let her! Making mistakes and fixing them and getting it right the next time is a huge confidence builder.
Start a reading club - Read the same book. This is a great idea for those of you with older girls, even off at college or out of the house.
Create playlists for each other - If she's really into her music, find common ground by having her make a playlist for you and you make one for her. Share your favorites from when you were her age. This can spark some great conversations.
Get moving together - Take a yoga class every Saturday morning or go for a speed walk Sunday afternoons or make up your own backyard exercise game you do together. Getting an adrenaline rush, racing her, boosting that heartbeat up, all of it is a good way to bond.
Have ritual nighttime talk - Whether it's a few questions each of you answer (odd thought you had that day, what made you feel happy during the day, or the like) or whether it is just 15 minutes you chill on her bed and just listen to what she has to share, connect every day at the same time.
Do you and your daughter share a hobby? What is a special way you connect and bond?