As parents, we know how to look after our kids. We’re clued up on health and safety, lunch boxes and bedtimes. We don’t let them talk to strangers. But sometimes we’re not so good at bonding with them. Age 9 can be quite a milestone year. Whilst they’re still young, kids might start showing early signs of puberty – especially girls. They might start asking more adult questions, or gaining a better understanding of handling conflict. Your 9-year-old girl is growing up so quickly and is influenced by so many things that sometimes it feels like she’s slipping away. So, how can you bond with your 9-year-old girl?
Find time to play
Whilst your 9-year-old girl is growing up fast, it’s important that she still feels like a kid and enjoys playing. You can bond with her by taking the time to join in, and asking questions about her hobbies, toys and games. You could even buy her a new toy or game, and ask her to show you how to play with it. There are plenty of gifts for 9-year-old girls to choose from.
Teach her new skills
A key aspect of growing up is learning new skills and putting them into practice. So, why not spend some time with your 9-year-old girl and teach her a new skill? For example, you could show her the basics in the kitchen, and teach her how to bake (these gluten-free cinnamon buns are to die for). If you’re not so keen on baking yourself, you might want to try something different. Perhaps you’re good at arts and crafts, or maybe you’re an essential presence on an outdoor camping trip. Whatever skills you have, your 9-year-old daughter will love to learn them and develop her own skillset with you.
Kids gain knowledge every day, whether that’s at school, home or out and about with friends. Whilst you have responsibilities as a parent to support your daughter’s learning at school, like encouraging her to do homework and helping to prepare for tests, you also need to teach her things that an educational setting might not. Whether that’s about your family history, attitudes towards women or the scary world of social media, your daughter will respect you for telling her key things she needs to know about growing up and entering the real world. It’s all about having respectful conversations and communicating clearly.
The best way to bond with your 9-year-old daughter is to be available. Whilst she might not always want to hang out with you or hear what you have to say, the fact that she knows you’re there if she needs you will be a huge help. Being available is much more than sitting in the same room as your daughter whilst you watch TV and don’t pay her any attention. An available parent listens when their child talks, asks engaging questions and refrains from any judgement. By doing this, you will form a positive bond with your daughter.