Secrets to Building a Stronger Relationship with your Child
We always seek to build a perfect home for our children. We try to create a safe haven where they can find comfort from the harsh realities of the world. But bonding with an infant, who is totally dependent on you, is very different from trying to increase your connection with a tween, who is finding their own independence and place in the world. It takes work and focused attention to ensure your relationship remains strong throughout childhood, tween and teen years included.
Of course, every child is different, and what works for one may not work for another. But there are some basic tenets that you need to keep in mind when you are trying to create strategies for bonding with your son or daughter.
Tip #1 Find a Common Interest
A genuine interest in a shared activity can work wonders in building a bond. Even if your son lives and breathes cars, and you don’t know a Honda from a BMW, don’t worry. Find something else that can work. Remember that you don’t need to fake interest in everything they do. Make an effort to schedule time for even one thing that you both will love doing together.
Tip #2 Validate Their Feelings
It is important to be available for children to share their feelings. Nothing makes a child clam up faster than pushing them to talk. And really listening to them also means not trivializing their feelings. Instead of dismissing her by saying “That’s such a silly thing to be scared of,” try to use positive phrases. Ask her to elaborate on what exactly she felt, and gently check if you can help in any way. Being a good listener will build trust in you as a parent.
Tip #3 Embrace Their Friends
Friends mean a lot to children. Having sleep-overs and fun play-dates in your home is the best way for you to know more about their friends. It creates a safe environment where you can help foster friendships, and create a stronger bond with your child.
Tip #4 Give Them Their Own Space
Your carefully planned nursery décor will eventually start to lose its sheen. Give a more sophisticated and grown-up look to your tween’s room to give them a space in the house that they love. Openly involve them in the planning (and execution) and you’re sure to learn more about their likes and dislikes.
Tip #5 Foster Mutual Respect
Parenting is about finding the right balance between setting limits and fostering an independent mind. We surely need to focus on discipline, but we should remember to lay down the rules with empathy and understanding. Don’t just scold and reprimand, spend the time to hear their point of view too. And always treat them with the same respect you expect out of them.
Each stage of childhood comes with its own challenges, and it is important for parents to maintain a strong relationship with the child so that they can be there to guide, support and nurture a successful young human being. It doesn’t take much. Even by giving a half an hour of uninterrupted attention every day, you’re sure to build a strong bond with your child over time.
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