All parents want what is best for their child, and a strong parent-child relationship can help lead to better outcomes for children.
It can help foster autonomy, curiosity, self-esteem, and better decision-making skills in your young ones.
Read on for key points on how to develop a good parent and child relationship.
1. Get On Their Level
There are a number of great ways you can connect with your child and get on their level in a meaningful way—you simply have to come down to their level.
This will make bonding with you easier and more approachable.
If you have a toddler, get on the floor and stack Legos or sort colours with them.
If you have older adolescents or teens, joining in on a round of video games, won’t hurt.
You are more likely to spark conversation during these types of activities than by trying to get them talking at the dinner table, over food.
2. Make One-on-one Time For Each Child
Having every member of your family spend time together as a unit is important.
Nevertheless, you should also set aside time to focus on each individual child.
Dedicating one-on-one time helps you form a connection with each child, and also helps you focus on their individual strengths and needs.
Create time in your weekly schedule to build a special relationship with each child; make effort to be really involved.
You can’t expect to have a strong bond with your children if you simply say “good morning” and “good night” each day.
The only way to develop a strong parent-child relationship is to be truly involved in their lives; busy work schedules and other responsibilities aside.
When you can find the time, you could offer to volunteer at school, attend games or have a chat with your children’s teachers regularly to stay updated on their academic performance.
Also, you can help them practice their lines for the school play, do homework with them, and invite your kids’ friends over so you know what kind of influences they are around.
Make effort to let your kids know that things don’t always have to be so serious between you.
Yes, you want them to respect your authority, but you also want to laugh with them.
A sense of fun can liven up their lives and build lasting fond memories.
3. Practice Active Listening Without Distractions
Parents are busy; mums, even more so.
But however tight your schedule might be, you want to ensure your children know that you care about what they have to say.
It doesn’t matter if your child is complaining about the same issue at school or going on and on about teenage drama, try to give them your full attention.
When you actively listen, you strengthen the bond with your child and demonstrate their importance to you.
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Silence your phone and turn off the TV, then turn to face them.
Make eye contact, use open body language, and listen without judgment or negative facial expressions.
4. Open Up And Show Your Human Side
Adolescents and teens can easily get bored with too much pep talk.
As your children get older, it’s okay to lay the parent hat to rest a bit and let them get a glimpse of the person underneath.
Reduce the pressure by planning some of your talks in a parallel position and show them your human side some more.
Ask your daughter about her new love interest when you are slicing veggies in the kitchen (make it relaxed and natural).
In fact, the conversations with your kids where you let your human side shine through are actually the ones they tend to find relatable and valuable.
Don’t hold back on using personal, age-appropriate stories to drive home ways your kids can learn and grow.
For example, if you were bullied in school, share that with your child and explain how you got through it.
They look at you as being strong and invincible because of how you overcame bullying and it will help them when faced with similar situations.
Use this time to really get to know your child, including their curiosities, hobbies, preferences, etc.
Share your own interests, likes, and experiences with your child too.
Emphasize and build on any similar interests you both may share.
Your child is more likely to loosen up and open up more to you when they know “mummy understands.”
5. Carry Them Along In The Decision-making Process
The feeling a child gets when their parent genuinely seeks their opinion is priceless.
Many parents just haul decisions at their kids instead of letting them play a role.
As your children become teenagers and young adults, it can give them a sense of autonomy to offer forth their opinions on matters.
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Allow them to weigh in on more decisions like choosing clothes, meals, activities, or vacation plans.
You might ask their opinion about handling family matters to show you value their opinions.
6. Follow The 3 Fs Of Effective Parenting
Of course, every child pushes the envelope a bit when it comes to communication and behavior.
That notwithstanding, as an adult, you are must be inclined to respond maturely and calmly to misconduct.
Let the 3 Fs help you with discipline and protect the overall parent-child relationship. They are:
• Be firm. State what the consequences are and try not to compromise on them.
• Be fair. Make sure the punishment fits the crime. Try to avoid harsh or excessive consequences, or punishing a child when you’re angry.
• Be friendly. For a great parent and child relationship, take time to praise them when they are doing well, and relate with them as a friend who genuinely cares about them would.
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