A parents worst nightmare is not developing positive relationships with their children. These relationships are very important, and being able to have this bond helps a parent know their child well. This means the child is more likely to listen to, abide by, and respect the parent leading to a better present and future relationship. This connection is the main reason behind a child’s willingness to follow rules as well as wanting to cooperate. For some, the closeness with their child is lacking which both the parent and child need to work together on fostering positive relationships with one another.
8 Tricks for Developing Positive Relationships with Children
1Talk with Them, and Listen!
Talking with the child is the easiest and most common method for developing positive relationships. Sometimes it may not seem so, but children want their parents to talk and listen to them, as well as be engaged in and remember what they said. As a parent, ask questions. Let the child feel and know that what they are saying is of interest to you. Welcome their emotions as children are humans, and assist them in expressing themselves so that you can help them heal and feel heard.
When a child explains themselves and their behaviors, this helps the parent see things differently. The parents emotions are also regulated so that the child doesn’t seem like the enemy in certain situations. This in turn will help the child feel more relaxed, cooperative and have that closer bond with the parent. Do remember though that creating this bond of conversation may take a few tries, especially with older children who may feel rebellious.
2Take Interest in Their Interests
Think of this as one-on-one time with the child. Take the time to show some interest in the things that the child enjoys doing. If you see them coloring or reading a book, let go of that smartphone and go sit with them and engage. Color or read with them, or whatever it may be they are doing at that moment.
Make sure though to not be judgmental about their interests. What interests them may not interest you, but that’s the beauty in connecting with your child – doing things they love. If you demonstrate that you don’t like their hobbies, it may push them farther away from you. Just remember to suck it up because at the end of the day, you are the parent and you and your child will not always like the same things. Interacting with them and their hobbies will show them you care and bring in that positive, bonding relationship.
3Invite Them Into Your World
Sometimes when working on developing positive relationships with children, it can seem hard and impossible. Allowing the child to come into your world and showing them who you are and your daily life may change their minds and they may allow you more insight into their life as well. This can be taking them to work with you, taking them with you to the gym, or taking them with you to the theater or a class. Get them excited and interested in the fact they are being welcomed into your personal life. They may just let you into theirs as well.
4Find a New Hobby Together
Some parents may find they have no common interests with their child. Firstly, do not feel bad about this, it is actually more common than you may believe. Have a chat with the child, see what interests you both and take on that new hobby together. It helps to also find something that both of you have never done before so that no one has more experience than the other. This way you can work on this new hobby together. Doing so can increase communication and aid in developing positive relationships with children.
5Don’t Use Guilt as a Weapon
A major rule in developing positive relationships with children is to never guilt them or make them feel guilty. This will only cause resentment as well as losing respect for the parent in the long run. Let the child know you want to spend some quality time with them, but do remember that if they don’t want to (as this may happen the first few times trying) not to guilt them about it. Don’t make them feel bad if they do not want to hang out with you or spend time together. Give it a few tries and be persistent because in the end, they will let you into their life and give you a chance.
6There is a Time for Friendship and a Time for Parenting
We all want to be our child’s best friend, but we cannot forget that we are also their parent. Some parents forget they are the guardians and may take it too far. The parents first and main priority is to make sure the child is safe and getting the care they need and deserve. A balance between parenting and friendship is crucial and just as important as creating a bond with the child. You want your child to trust you enough to tell you about the things happening in their life and around them, but you also want them to feel safe enough to seek guidance as well. Having this balance will help in developing positive relationships with children.
7Don’t Get Discouraged
Children are huge challenges, and as parents, we already know this. Sometimes, it may feel that no matter how hard you try, the closeness you’re wanting isn’t getting better as you had hoped. The first rule is to remember to never give up. Children know their parents are trying and do appreciate it even though they may not acknowledge it from the beginning. They know you care about them, and sometimes that is good enough for them.
8Be Present in Their Life
Most parents are half-present in their child’s life whether it be due to work or just regular day to day house chores. When interacting with the child, make sure to be 100% present. This means, put down the smart phone, close the laptop or book, or leave whatever else it may be you are doing and be 100% with them. Be there in the moment and let go of everything else. Those things will be there when you come back to them. In making this a habit the parent will be making huge strides in developing positive relationships with their children.
Children need their parents. Developing positive relationships with children should be the first and foremost priority a parent has. These relationships build trust and closeness so that there are fewer bumps in the road as the child gets older. Take baby steps when working on building that relationship. Nothing changes over night even though we may wish it did. But by being persistent, over time, you and your child will have that amazing bond.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on IF TOMORROW NEVER CAME: PARENTING WITH NO REGRETS.
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Sources: 7 Ways to Connect with Your Children
10 habits to Strengthen Your Relationship with Your Child