One of the most important things any parent wants to know is how they can build a strong and loving relationship with their child. From the moment you find out you’re pregnant, you probably start thinking about how to raise your child in the best way possible, including how you’ll build that everlasting bond with your child.
You must teach your children how to make smart decisions on their own, but it’s equally important that you remain involved in their lives as they grow older and become independent. Your relationships with your children can change as they go through different stages of life.
However, most people don’t realize that it isn’t something you can put off until later. You should start now – and here are some ways to strengthen your parent-child relationship that will make this bond stronger than ever before.
Parent-child relationships at different age groups
The relationship between parent and child is different in different age groups. The parents are more caring, affectionate, and protective during infancy than in toddlerhood.
There are five age groups, namely infancy, toddlerhood, preschool, school-age, and adolescence where the parent-child relationship is different.
- When a kid is an infant, they try to do basic things like smile, look at their parents, and try to calm themselves by bringing hands close to their mouth, licking, or sucking on them. They get irritated when the parents try to remove their hands away or break their poised zone.
- During toddlerhood, children become more independent, assertive, and inquisitive. They love playing with others but also get scared if someone seems unfamiliar. They might cry if the playing stops or their favorite toy gets lost. At times, they also seek attention by repeating certain behavior or sounds. They try to test their limits with their parents.
- In preschool, children start spending a lot of time with peers outside the home which may result in a decrease in interaction with parents. Due to a lack of understanding of what’s right or wrong, they might show defiant behavior (doing what they have been told not to)
- During school age, children’s relationship with parents becomes stronger as they spend most of their time at school or playgrounds. They show a wide range of emotions and might get upset if any major change takes place. Sometimes, they are very demanding and sometimes very cooperative.
- Adolescence is an important phase in life where teenagers are faced with many new challenges and make several important decisions for themselves. Parents should be more patient towards their children so that strong bonds can be built during adolescence. Adolescents face peer pressure from friends and there will be a temptation for them to get involved in alcohol, drugs, or violence but parents should not encourage such activities.
Also read: Yelling At Your Kid? Ways To Control It
In the initial years, you (parents) must:
- Let your kids play with other kids. This will help your child to share, collaborate and make new friends.
- Focus on the good behavior of your child. Praising your children regularly, (3 times more than correcting mistakes) gives them more confidence.
- Stick to your routine. A daily schedule of meals, playtime, and bedtime helps your child move more easily from one activity to another.
- Create a visual set of rules. List 3-5 rules with pictures to hang somewhere in your home. This helps your child learn boundaries.
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Adults should strengthen their relationships with parents by getting involved in some family-related activities like eating together, taking walks together, etc. Adults should also give gifts on special occasions like birthdays, festivals, etc to show their love and care towards parents.
Ways to bond
To strengthen your relationship with your children, it’s crucial to make time for quality bonding time. Whether you want to go on a walk together or just sit down and talk about your day at school, spending some quality time together is a great way to stay close. Here are 8 ways to strengthen your parent-child relationships.
#1. Have an honest conversation
Communication is a big part of any strong relationship, and your parent-child relationship is no different. Sometimes, you may need to approach your child about their behavior or health concerns. Other times, you might want to ask them about how their day was at school or for advice about something that happened at work. Whatever it is you want to talk with them about, make sure that both of you are ready and willing to have an honest conversation.
#2. Teach your child to be mindful
Mindfulness can help children and their parents. Instead of just absorbing what you say, your child will learn to think about his or her behavior. What does my parent want me to do? How do I react when she says that? Is there a better way to behave? Help your kids develop those skills by making a conscious effort to be mindful of yourself. When you’re eating dinner with your family, pay attention to each person around the table. Listen closely to what they’re saying—and don’t interrupt! When you make requests of your children, like cleaning up after themselves or getting ready for bed on time, ask them if they understand. If they don’t respond right away, ask them again in different words until they do understand—and follow through with consequences if necessary.
#3. Dealing positively with a difficult child
All children are different and are constantly growing and developing. As they go through each stage of their development, they begin to interact differently with their parents and others around them. Just as no two children are alike, neither is any parent’s parenting style. One good way to create strong family relationships is by dealing positively with a difficult child. It may seem like a lot of work, but it will be worth it in the end. By using some simple techniques you can develop strong family relationships with your kids.
#4. Spend quality time together
Your children need you. If they have a healthy relationship with their parents, they’ll be able to cope with stressful situations that come up in life, such as schoolwork or friends. What better way to spend quality time together than doing an activity that you all enjoy? You could start a family business, join your kids in sports or just build some memories that last. It’s a great investment in your child's future and will strengthen your parent-child relationship for years to come.
#5. Let your child be a friend
One of our most important goals as parents is to help our children grow into independent, successful adults. To do that, we must first allow them to act like kids—because that’s exactly what they are! Allowing your child to be a friend will encourage her to seek out relationships with her peers and interact with those around her without you hovering over her shoulder. These early friendships can lay the vital groundwork for success later in life.
Also check: Signs You Might Be Helicopter Parents (Over-Controlling)
#6. Give them responsibilities
It’s never too early to give your child responsibilities. It’s time for your kids to have a job and put in work. Making them aware of what it takes to run a household will help them better appreciate their parents and understand their place in society. Assign chores based on age and ability, such as: taking out the trash, helping with dinner preparations, folding laundry, or putting toys away after playing. Make sure they know that these are jobs they must do every day—not just when you feel like it. This is an important lesson about life: When you don’t do your job, someone else gets stuck doing it for you.
#7. Inspire their interests
It’s tough when you don’t have a relationship with your parents. But you can build a solid foundation for a relationship by playing on your parent’s strengths, building trust, and sharing your interests. Strong family relationships give children better mental health and boost their confidence, leading to successful careers in life. Here are a few things that can help strengthen parent-child relationships 1. Parents should listen to their child's ideas: There is no right or wrong way of parenting, but parents should listen to what their child has to say instead of just imposing their ideas upon them. Children need space to talk about what they want in life and how they want it done, so parents should respect them enough to let them share their thoughts freely without fear of being judged or criticized.
#8. Check-in with each other daily
One of the most effective ways to strengthen a parent-child relationship is to spend some one-on-one time together every day. This doesn’t have to be a long sit-down, just a quick check-in about how each person’s day went. The frequency is more important than duration – think quality over quantity. Start your check-in by asking: How was your day? What did you get done? Did anything interesting happen? Did anything go wrong or not go as planned? If so, what happened and what are you going to do about it tomorrow? Did anyone say something nice or mean today that stuck with you and why? Was there anything funny that happened today that made you laugh out loud or smile on the inside or out? Asking these questions will allow both parent and child to share their experiences from their perspective without judgment and without being interrupted.
Also read: What does every child need for good mental health?
Being a parent is no easy task, and nobody expects you to do it perfectly. There’s always room for improvement, and even if you want to be one of those awesome parents (like we all do), don’t forget that it’s not about doing everything right – it’s about showing your children how much you love them through your actions, listening to them when they need someone to talk to, and being there when they need a helping hand. Remember, kids, learn from what they see. And when they see their parents fighting or yelling at each other in front of them that won’t leave a good impression on them. So try to make time for family activities, keep lines of communication open, and have fun with your kids as often as possible and you will strengthen your parent-child relationship!