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Challenge: Walking the Talk

Use Hands-On Projects For Bonding

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Do as I say, not as I do.

This is an adage that parents have coasted on for eons -- but does it hold any weight?

The evidence is getting increasingly clearer that kids learn more through hands on experience and assessment than they do simply being told what to do and what not to do. Also, taking a strictly authoritarian stance makes it difficult to get through to them in times when you want your child to share or be vulnerable.

One way to build a bond and open up communication with your child, while leading by example, is to take on a project. Building or fixing something requires the two of you to work together, which increases focus and opens the floor for true sharing.

If you are considering going this route, read on.

Consider Tackling A Project Your Kid Wants To Do

It's one thing to frame this project as a must-do, but what if you started with a project that your kid would actually enjoy?

They might want to build a club house, lay down cement for a basketball court, put together a train set, or simply just spend time with you. Having to cooperate on a project teaches your child self-awareness and communication skills, which will carry them far in work and in school.

Gather The Right Tools For The Job

Whether you're the most handy person in the world or not, do everything you can to get adequate tools for any project you're planning out. The internet is your friend in this regard, since you can easily find reviews for any tool that you are looking into purchasing.

You also have access to YouTube tutorials, blueprints and DIY walk throughs that will make this project worlds easier.

Learn From The Experience And Be Patient

Finally, don't be so pressed to impart lessons that you lose sight of the moment.

One day, all of our kids will be grown, married and raising kids of their own. These little moments don't come along all the time, so take the time to soak it in and actually form a bond with your child.

More often than not, you'll find yourself learning just as much from these experiences as your child -- if not more.

Use these tips and start planning a great project for you and your child to do together.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.