I’m glad you are here and deemed it fit to read on how to improve parent and child relationship.
Parent and child relationship is one of the most important relationships one can have. It is worth all the time, the efforts, the sweat, the research, the money, and the love.
Most parents if not all desire deep a connection with their kids. Unfortunately, such connection does not happen by osmosis but takes intentional daily actions.
Be fully connected to yourself.
The award-winning mistake you can do is to give up yourself, your needs, what makes you happy and fulfilled in an attempt to love your kids. Ancient scriptural wisdom says love others (this includes your kids) the way you love yourself. This means loving yourself is a standard of reference, you should use to love others.
Trying to love others without self-love is not sustainable, you will eventually reach the breaking point. The breaking point can come in many ways, you can start to resent the very kids, you can turn into a yelling machine, and you can even sink into depression. Let me echo a well-known statement ‘You cannot pour from an empty cup.
You need to be connected with yourself, be in a pleasant love, non-judgmental relationship with self to be able to connect with others and in this context your kids.
If you are in a habit of self criticism, you will most likely be critical with others. If you are not happy and have no clue on how to make yourself happy, you can’t authentically in a sustainable way make others happy.
Without self-awareness, love, and connectedness to self, a strong, connected parent-child relationship is an illusion.
Remember you’re a role model, so love yourself loudly in 3D before their eyes, until they fully comprehend what self-love is and this is the most loving thing you can do and teach them.
It takes courage to be vulnerable, but vulnerability breeds deep connection. So let your guard down, in an age-appropriate way and be vulnerable. Expose your soft side, share your needs, desires, mistakes weaknesses, your regrets, and a tear if needs be, drop the superhero musk for a change.
Once in a while give him/her the privilege of being mommy’s or daddy’s comforter and encourager. As they comfort and encourage you, respond positively. Let them believe that they picked you up, that whatever it is, or was did not take you down, that you are ready to arise, thrive, and triumph. While vulnerability is a deep connection enhancer, it is also a lesson that there are unpleasant moments in life but we do not dwell in such.
This is a lesson that daddy or mommy is as human as I am, not immune to mistakes and challenges. This will enable your kids to let their guards down, to be open and honest with you even in the worst of situations.
One other practical way to be vulnerable with kids is to be humble enough to ask for forgiveness when you are wrong. Ask for unconditional forgiveness by taking total ownership of your mistake without pinning any part of it on the child.
Give distraction-free attention
One of the deadliest pandemic of our time is distracted parenting. The majority of parents are unable to give distraction-free attention for at least 10 minutes straight. A common statement in our kid’s mouths these days is mommy or daddy please put the phone down. I have heard this statement several times in my house.
One morning we wake up and decide to do better, by spending time with all our two, three, or five kids at once. This is much better than not having time with the kids but it is less effective if we are endeavoring to improve and strengthen the relationship with each individual child.
I have nine-year-old twin girls and it is very challenging to separate them and spent time with them as individuals but I can confidently say the most fulfilling time I have spent with them is when I was able to part them for a one on one interaction with mommy.
Again like any other social interaction of more than two people, there will always be someone dominating the conversation while the other one feels unheard. I once recorded a conversation daddy had with the girls and their brother, it is very clear from that conversation the brother was never given a chance to express his thoughts and opinions, the girls were unashamedly dominating the conversation and shutting him out.
Listening to that conversation got me worried about how my son might be feeling because this might be his daily reality.
To this effect Amy McCready of Positive Parenting recommends that you have a mind, soul, and body interaction with each child for at least 20 minutes a day, the 20 minutes can be divided into two, whatever is convenient. During this time let the child call the shots, this is the time to express interest in what he is interested in. I cannot think of any better way to fill his attention cup and to deepen the parent, child connection.
Play Enhances Parent-Child Connection
Playing with the child will be greatly beneficial in building a positive parent-child relationship. Play is not just an activity but it is the child’s primary language, speak it fluently and daily and you will never have to worry about your child drifting away, or not knowing how to reach out to him.
Because play is their native space, it is the best place to frequently visit to know your child better. When they are in that space they let their guards down, there is no room for pretense. If you pay attention you will pick his weaknesses, strengths, social interaction skills, use of language, etc. You will know what you need to enhance and what you need to discourage.
In actual fact, play affords you an opportunity to contribute to what forms them, their perception their language their gross motor skills their creativity, emotional regulation, and more. Within this space you are not a parent, you are a buddy, be a good one.
An important fact to remember is that you are entering into their world, they are the host and they call the shots. Allow the play to be as unstructured as possible, let go of the need to control, this will enhance the fun and the connection.
Improve Parent Child Relationship with Shared Hobbies
There is no better time to consider shared hobbies with our kids than during this Covid 19 lockdowns. Shared hobbies have been used by many as a bonding tool in romantic relationships and this magic can be extended to parent and child relationships.
Shared hobbies do not only enhance the bond, but they also affirm the child, it builds his self-esteem, makes him feel heard and considered. It is just heaven on earth for a child to see their parent having a blast while spending time with them. When they realize that time spent with them is not a chore for a parent but a joyful time it makes them feel significant.
I still can remember how elated my son was when I asked him to teach me Roblox, his smile was everything. He just didn’t expect me to be interested and truly I had to fake the interest in this one until I really become interested.
It always works best if you tap into what they are already interested in, you can also invite them to your child-friendly hobbies, or together you can explore new hobbies. The options are endless i.e. painting, gaming, movies, sports, crafts, yoga, singing, writing, cooking, baking, photography drawing, and more.
Keep your promises
Strong relationships are based on trust. Trust is usually taken seriously in all other relationships than in a parent and child relationship. The best way to build trust with our kids is to keep the promises we make and to teach them to keep their promises.
If your goal is to build a strong safe, secure and respectful relationship with your child keeping your promises is not an option. If you watch the video below I promise, you will never break any promise to your kids again.
Use the magic relationship ratio: 5 is to 1
This simply means there must be five or more positive interactions for one negative interaction. It means that as a parent you have to choose your battles, you cannot fight over any and everything thing, fight over what matters and be intentional about creating plenty of positive interactions.
Remember that little things matter, you don’t have to break the bank or be stuck on what to do as you intend to create positive interactions. Simply things like an affectionate hug, a little unexpected service, joining them during their playtime, listening to them with interest, and valuing their opinion will go a long way. For more insight on this check Magic relationship ratio according to science.
Be generous with affection
After their summer holiday visit to granny’s place, I asked my kids what is one thing that they missed about being home and they said without a doubt the cuddles.
If that is not enough to convince you, keep reading. A very popular and respected celebrity by the name of Shona Ferguson just passed away in South Africa. In their tribute to their father, the daughters raved about their father’s spectacular hugs.
The wife Constance Ferguson said ‘Nobody hugged like my husband’
The employees added that they will miss Shona’s warm hugs. Of the many things Mr. Ferguson was many remembered the impact of his hugs, which made them feel like the most important person on planet earth.
Studies indicate that kids who were nurtured by affectionate parents turn to be happier and less anxious adults.
Final Thoughts on How to Improve Parent Child Relationship
A healthy and strong parent and child relationship is worth a sacrifice. It speaks directly to an adult this child will become, to the father or mother s/he is becoming. It speaks to the kind and quality of citizens the nation will have. The truth and fact is most of the adult related challenges and problems can be solved by a healthy and strong parent and child relationship.
Make it your daily mission to improve your relationship with your kids.
Thank you for reading and keep being curious.
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