Like any other relationship, improving a parent-child relationship takes time, work, and commitment. Parenting is a difficult job, but by building a deep connection and maintaining open communication with kids, you can remain close and connected to them throughout all stages of your life.
An enhanced parent-child connection makes parenting not just easy but also enjoyable because kids who feel closer to their parents are more likely to listen, assist in performing house chores, and follow instructions. Your kids are also more willing to open up to you, especially when they have problems in school or with peers.
Here are 8 ways to improve and strengthen your relationship with your child:
- Show Little Acts of Love
Children require a human touch and warm affection at all stages of their lives for the proper development of their emotions and neurobiology. So, ensure you give your child a gentle, affectionate touch in the form of hugs a couple of times every day. Use every interaction as a chance to build a deeper connection with your child. Speak to them lovingly and respectfully, maintain eye contact, smile, and foster an open interaction. Show them how important they are in your life by surprising them with a lovely quote necklace. This is your chance to get all sentimental and engrave a motivational or loving quote that commemorates an early childhood.
- Say “I Love You” Every Day
Tell your kids you love them often, regardless of their age. Even after disciplining them for undesirable behavior, your children should know that your love for them is unconditional. Conflict is the most ideal time for you to communicate your love to your children. Saying “I Love You” to your kids every day can go a long way in improving parent-child relationships. Furthermore, when they receive this verbal affirmation of love from their parents, it will help their self-esteem as they grow into adults and know that they are deserving of love. This is fundamental when building new relationships outside their home and avoiding toxic people in their lives later on.
- Play With Your Kids
Playing and spending time with your kids is a fantastic way to strengthen your bond with them. There are many child-friendly games that you can play with your kids. For instance, you can play board games, football, or even sing songs. Regardless of what you play, be sure to give your full attention and to enjoy each other. If your children are a bit older, you can play with them chess, cards, or even computer games.
4. Set Rules and Age-appropriate Consequences
Children require proper guidance to grow into mature and respectful adults. They need to be guided on the best ways to interact with the world around them. They also need to have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. And the best way to do that is by setting clear boundaries and rules. You should also set age-appropriate consequences so that your children understand the kind of punishment associated with specific undesirable behavior.
5. Listen and be Considerate
Listening is a fundamental part of creating a strong connection with your children. Recognize their feelings, tell them you understand, and let them know that you’re willing to help them find a lasting solution to their problems. Don’t immediately assume that their problems are “probably” not serious. That invalidates their feelings towards their problems, makes them feel like they’re inadequately overreacting, and might hesitate to come to you with their concerns in the future. If they expect you to immediately criticize and turn their problems down as insignificant, such an approach to your children’s concerns might seriously compromise their mental health, and lead to emotional damage as they grow into adults.
6. Create and Practice Bedtime Rituals
Bedtime separates you from your children and having a ritual can help them feel safer and secure. It can also be the only time some busy parents engage their children, so find ways to make it peaceful and enjoyable. Some great rituals to try include telling stories, singing bedtime songs, and reading bedtime books.