Building a great relationship with your child takes work and time investment. It simply isn’t enough to just tell your child that you love them. Instead you need to be able to demonstrate this love through your actions. As the saying goes, “actions speak louder than words” and that is certainly the case when it comes to parenting too.
As an example, imagine you have a child that frequently misbehaves. You may frequently tell the child that you love them but if the majority of your interactions revolve around either disciplining your child or trying to enforce a schedule then they may start to feel undervalued. Here, we discuss the ways in which you can build a relationship with your child.
Acknowledge That it Will Take Work
As with any relationship, building a relationship with your child takes work too and it would be unrealistic to expect an instant bond to materialize overnight. When trying to improve your parent-child relationship, take into consideration all of the things that you would expect to be doing in a normal relationship, such as spending quality time together, getting to know each other’s interests and likes, and working hard to show the other person how much you care about them and their happiness.
Make Time For Your Child
Parenting is a full time job, and sometimes it can be difficult to juggle all of the responsibilities that come with it, in addition to the other tasks that you have to do on a daily basis. However, it is important to set aside real quality, leisurely time spent with your child. If you are busy at work all day and come home late when your child is just getting ready for bed, your interactions are going to be limited and may just involve things such as doing the school run, or checking that your child has done their homework.
These are of course necessary activities but are not quality time, so set aside a certain amount of time per week to play with your child, or to participate in activities and excursions as a family. There are plenty of options when it comes to fun activities to do with your kids.
Take a Break From Routine
Getting away from it all every now and then will lift everyone’s spirits and leave the entire family feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Taking a vacation gives you the opportunity to reconnect with your child, and enables you to interact during a period where you are not stressed by the pressures of everyday life. As an example, by traveling to a child friendly resort, you’re able to spend time with your child and do activities that you’ll both enjoy.
Encourage Your Child to Succeed
Acknowledging the positive actions that your child takes, and rewarding them for good behavior asserts to them that they will be recognized for the things that they do. By contrast, if you are constantly criticizing or disciplining your child for every minor thing that they do wrong, then they will begin to feel disheartened and will certainly not be motivated to work hard in an attempt to do well in the future. Encouraging your child, and making them feel as though the world is their oyster is an excellent way to show your support and to motivate them to do well.
Try to Ensure That Respect is Mutual
In a similar vein to what is outlined above about encouraging your child rather than over criticizing them, try to establish a level of mutual respect in your relationship. This means not only addressing instances where your child is acting inappropriately, but doing so in a respectful and calm manner that encourages them to empathize and understand what they have done wrong.
Of course, you want to assert yourself as the authoritative voice in your household, but you certainly don’t want to do so in a manner that makes your little ones feel as though they are living in a dictatorship! Try to instill the notion in your children that if they treat others with respect, they will be treated with respect also. After all, isn’t this the way you would like your child to grow up? Treating others as they would like to be treated?
Become an Excellent Communicator
Communication is key in all relationships, and the relationships that you have with your children are no different. Rather than keeping concerns and worries to yourself, openly discuss things with your child so that emotions do not bottle up.
Equally, encourage your child to talk to you about things that bother them, and let them know that you are there for them should they ever encounter problems. By assuring your child that they can rely on you as a confidante, you can build a supportive, open relationship.
Make Yourself Available
Try to ensure that you are always available. This assures your child that they have someone to confide in. If you appear always stressed, anxious or overly busy, your child may worry that they are disturbing you and therefore keep their problems to themselves.
Ensure that your child knows that regardless of how busy your life or routine may become, you are always available for them – whether they want your assistance with homework, they want to speak with you about their problems, or they simply want to spend some time doing something as a family. Your children are your number one priority. Make sure they feel like they are every single day.