Most parents want to have a good relationship with their kids, but sometimes they just are at their wit’s end and don’t know how to accomplish that task. Here are some great suggestions on how you can have an amazing relationship with your kids:
Get Down To Their Level
If you have small children at the toddler stage you can start building a solid relationship at a young age by interacting with them in age-appropriate ways. For instance, get down onto the floor with your child and help them build a tower of blocks or Legos. Play with some toy cars together or dress up that dolly.
If your kids are older, such as preteens then you can do something like play video games with them or help them with their homework or some other activity. Doing this is going to get them talking much easier than starting to ask questions when you have them “trapped” at the dinner table.
Have Family Time
It helps to build a relationship with your kids if you emphasize the importance of family time. You respect your child’s individual tastes and hobbies, however, there are also times for the whole family to interact like having meals together, playing a board game or watching a movie together, letting everyone share what happened to them that week, etc.
Have One On One Time For Your Kids
It’s also important to give each child in the family some one on one time with each parent. You can pick a day of the week for each of your kids and then do things with them alone like go shopping, go to a movie, play a game, cook their favorite meal, etc. You can also volunteer at their school to be a chaperone to their event, help out in the school snack bar, etc.
Remember The Three Fs
Be fair, firm and friendly when dealing with your kids. First, be fair, which means you need to make sure any punishment would fit whatever your child did wrong, don’t do something crazy like ground them for a month if whatever they did was a minor offense. Next, be firm, which means stating what the consequences are for their wrong actions and stick to that announcement. Lastly, be friendly with your child. You don’t have to yell at them to convey the announcement of the punishment. Talk in a calm, firm voice. There is no need to threaten or scare a child under any circumstances.
Be An Active Listener To What Your Child Has To Say
If your child wants to talk to you, then make yourself available. If you don’t, then eventually they won’t even try to come to you with a problem they are having. Your kids need to know that you are the parent who cares greatly about what they have to tell you. Actively listening to your kid helps to strengthen your bond and it shows them you care and you value what they say.
Don’t stare at your phone while they are talking, put it down and actually look your child’s eyes while they are speaking to you. No negative faces or sighs, just honestly listening to them. And above all be honest! Don’t tell them something just to get rid of them. Speak the truth.
Trust is the start of great relationships – your child’s trust in you starts right from the day you bring them home from the hospital. By the time an infant reaches a year old, they know if they can trust their parents to pick them up when they cry, are wet or soiled, or if they are hungry.
As they get older, that trust can increase by the parent following through with promises they make, listening to their child, and believing in them. That doesn’t mean you have to 100 percent blindly trust if, for instance, your teenager tells you they aren’t using drugs or having sex. If your child knows you have faith in them not to do the wrong thing, it’s less likely they will do something illegal or otherwise wrong.
Give Kids Space And Validate Your Child’s Feelings
Your child needs the space to do things on their own and with their friends. Don’t call them every five minutes to see what they are doing, that only builds mistrust. A child’s feelings should be validated. If they are sad or depressed about something like not getting picked for a team or some boy or girl at school doesn’t like them or that they failed an important test, then don’t just tell them to get over it.
They have a right to be unhappy if that’s how they feel. Instead, help them by echoing their words, like “So, you are sad because Johnny didn’t ask you out for a date, yes?” And if they nod their head you could keep going and say something like, “I bet that makes you feel awful, and you want to scream about it. Well, why don’t we go for a walk and you can do just that! I bet it helps!”
Don’t Take Things So Personally
If your child has had a bad day and they aren’t in the mood to discuss it, and you keep trying, then it is likely they are just going to scream at you and say something like, “you never care what happens to me, I hate you!” Don’t take it literally. Their ability to handle their emotions hasn’t been fully formed. Likely your child doesn’t really hate you and it’s not all about you anyway!
It is about their feelings and you must find a way to reach them without hanging on to the fact they just told you they hate you. I am not saying you should let your child disrespect you, but you need to act out of love and not stoop to the level of a screaming fit or any form of violence, as that won’t help at all.
All in all, your relationship with your kids takes time and work. It doesn’t form overnight and it will be ever-changing from the time they are born to the time they go out on their own and beyond. So, love them with all your heart and try to put yourself in their shoes and your relationship will grow.