Many times as children grow up, parents feel it difficult to connect with their children. It is easier when your child is small. However, it grows challenging as your child starts developing his or her own personality and opinions. This is quite common and happens with almost everyone. More importantly, what we need to focus on is “Why is it happening? Why are we unable to improve the relationship between parent and child?” The keys to effective communication with our children are trust, openness, intimacy, commitment, and the art of listening. There are ways to build a healthy relationship with your child based on these keys. There are simple yet effective ways of improving the relationship between parent and child.
It is the necessity of the hour to use a few ways of building positive relationships between parents and young children. This will help create a stronger next generation and break the cycles of parenting issues which might lead to many other psychological issues in children as they grow up to be adults.
We need to expand our awareness and put a little bit of conscious effort towards our children. It is a great idea to remember, “A person’s a person no matter how small.” Dr. Seuss reminds us with this quote that every child is an individual. They need not be our copies. A child will have his own individual personality, which can be different than what you expected or you can handle. However, as parents, it is our responsibility we help these children turn into beautiful, kind, and gentle people as they grow. The gentleness, kindness, and selflessness of these children can help us build a healthy planet and a healthy society.
All this while we teach them about boundaries, good manners, and healthy discipline. Yes! You can use many simple ways to build a healthy relationship with your child or build a positive relationship between parents and young children.
20 Simplistic and Realistic Ways to Build A Healthy Relationship With Your Child
Talk to your child
Talking to your child might seem like the simplest one of all. Rather, it isn’t easy because as your child grows, you may find fewer ideas to talk to your child about. Your child might not like your way of communication. However simple it may seem, it needs genuine efforts on the part of parents to talk to their child. You need to do it from your heart and not just for the sake of it. Soon you will see your child will want to talk to you about almost anything and everything. It is a blessing, and you need to enjoy it as long as you can.
Soon the children grow up and leave our nest and start with their own life which tends to make them busy—opportunities to talk become less and less as they grow. Please use as many occasions to talk to your child as much as you can.
Apologise whenever you are wrong
Accepting your mistake and apologizing for it is one of the best ideals you can teach your child. How do we teach this? Firstly, by practicing it yourself. Secondly, teach your child gently to do the same. Good manners, healthy discipline, and good habits can help your child become humble and kind. When our children see that we make mistakes too and are sorry for it, they will feel easily connected. They will learn that it is okay to be mistaken and learn that realizing it is important. So apologizing to your child whenever you are wrong is a simple way of improving the relationship between parent and child and teaches them how to apologize when they are wrong.
Listen to them and without interfering has an immense positive impact on building a healthy relationship with your child
Everyone is hearing; However, listening is a skill not acquired by many. It would help if you listened to your child whatever they are trying to tell you, not what you want to hear. You need to be present, be non-judgemental, and open to hearing what they have to say. Here when listening, what they need for you is to listen. More importantly, always act rather than reacting to something your child shares with you. Think, think twice, understand the feeling of how and where your child is emotionally, and then respond gently and positively. This always leads to children being happy around you and always wanting to be connected to you. This also helps handle well in the toddler phase, where whining and tantrums are at the highest.
Maintain a positive, open body language around them
Body language matters a lot when you are around your children. Children right from childhood pick up on your energies. If you are cranky or sad, you tend to be more anxious and agitated. If you are happy, they will be most happy around you. As children grow, they start picking up on body language too. If you are playing with your child, talking to your child half-mindedly, they will pick up on it. Your mind being elsewhere when you are around your child is not a good way to establish a deep connection with them. Imagine how they must feel; the people most important to them cannot be 100% present with them; Allocate at least a few hours a day, especially for your child; Turn off the notification, leave your work behind; More importantly, be present from body and mind.
Being open-minded is crucial to improve the relationship between parent and child
As your child starts growing, so will his curiosity and interests. If you notice, they start asking more and more questions about anything and everything. It is how nature has designed them to be inquisitive. There will be a few topics that you may never even have given a thought about; However, a child will be equally curious about everything from his private parts to the plane flying in the air. As your child grows up, you may need to be open-minded about what he or she has to talk to you about. Being open-minded about whatever matters to your child is a beautiful way to build a healthy relationship with your child.
Share your life experiences in a positive way
As your child is old enough to understand, start sharing your life experiences with them. Be careful to do it in a child-friendly way and the form of stories. They should become scared to explore this world or experience it for themselves. Your experience may not be their experience in the future. However, when they can relate to you through small experiences as a normal person and not perfect and with very high standards. Through this, they will understand about successes and failures in life how mom and dad have come to this place after their struggle.
I request this as a special necessity because we try to raise our children in a guarded manner and protective manner so that we don’t want them to feel any discomfort or problems in life. However, one important thing to teach our children is life sometimes does not go as planned and our way, and we need to be prepared for it. We can do this by making our children strong mentally, raising them with various experiences, and instilling positive qualities like determination, kindness, happiness, courage, and many more.
Engage in fun and artistic activities with them to improve a relationship between parent and child
Art is an expression of the soul. Every child is an artist. You will find your child doing some art when he or she is happy. It can be any form of painting, singing, dancing, scribbling, cooking, and other kitchen activities. Children are naturally creative. They have an amazing imagination to go with this creativity. We need to encourage this art by taking part with them. Always make sure to engage in fun and artistic activities with your child at least one day a week and, if possible, every day for some time. This will encourage your child in ways you cannot imagine. As your child grows, you will see that he turns to art as a therapy or soothing activity by himself. Whenever something bothers him or her, they tend to paint or scribble or make a mess (that’s an art too!!).
Do what your child likes and wants to do
Many times I even do things like organize the day in a way that suits me. However, I tend to forget that it may not be what he wants or needs. Consequently, there are tantrums or not wanting to do what is asked to be done on the child’s side; I observed that this was because I planned what he needs to do instead of actually what he wants to do. Consequently, now everyday one part of every day, I give control to my son and do what he wants to do. Even if I do activities or play his choice for 30 minutes, he will be happy for the rest of the day.
Trust me. Children love it when they have little control in their environment, especially whenever connected to them. Try this way of building a healthy relationship with your child and share with me how it makes you feel. You know it made me realize my mindfulness had improved, my happiness has improved by doing simple activities like coloring with my child or building lego cars and items. I urge you to try this for at least a month to see a change in yourself and your child. Somewhere I had heard of a “YES Day” in a movie; Therefore, why not start with “YES Hour.”
Talk about extracurricular things to improve the relationship between parent and child
So many parents are always focused on academics and other related stuff as the child starts growing. Parents are already busy, and whenever they have the time, they discuss school and grades and anything related to that. However, please try to give some time every day to discuss extracurricular activities like sports, hobbies, and passions. This is up to you and your child. You will know your child better than anyone else. It makes your child feel that all these things are also important in life.
We know how important it is to spend time doing something we love. We need to be taught mindfulness lessons now about what comes innately in your child. You are the source for everything in your child at a young age, and it starts developing as they grow on their own. Hence talking about extracurricular things of your child’s choice might be crucial to building a positive relationship between parents and young children. You can talk to toddlers too about beautiful and unique ideas.
Remember and share stories about your child to build a healthy relationship with your child
Children love to listen to stories about themselves as a child. Always share their stories where they were awesome, silly, brave, happy, always jumping around. This helps them connect to themselves with how they were as a child. If your child becomes shy as he grows, listening to stories about his childhood where he was not so shy can help him remember that he has it inside him to come out of that shyness. This was just a simple example.
Share inspirational stories with your children to build a positive relationship between parents and young children
Children when they are small, parents are the most important and best of all for them. All the children look up to their parents as they are growing. Please share your own inspirational stories with them. Your stories are real, tangible, and relatable for your children. These stories may help them in finding inspiration in their own lives. Inspiration is a beautiful tool to build an amazing and happy life.
Share funny stories about yourself
Sharing funny stories or embarrassing stories of yourself with your child may feel different, but it is hilarious for them and you if you open up and have the courage to laugh at yourself. This is a funny way of building a healthy relationship with your child.
Ask for your child’s opinion
How do we feel when anyone asks us for our opinion on something important? We feel that our opinion matters to them and has value. It is the same. As a child enters the 4th year (my son had his own opinions at 3 years of age ;P), they develop their own beautiful and unique characteristics. Having an opinion about things is a part of that character. As parents, we need to give the children an opportunity to exercise that opinion. You can take simple opinions like help them pick their own dresses, or ask their opinion about what to cook or how some decisions like moving, having another baby makes them feel. This encourages your child to become independent and develop their opinions.
Consequently, another important aspect that you help develop is that everybody’s opinion matters. Isn’t this a valuable way of building a healthy relationship with your child?
Let them take decision to improve relationship between parent and child
When you let your child decide, you are giving him a little power that he craves. It may not be appropriate to let them take every decision of their life because they might not have enough expertise for some important decision like which school to go to. However, simple decisions like what to wear, what to eat, what to play, etc., can help them become sharp at decision-making skills as they grow.
Read with your child
Reading with your child at any age has amazing benefits that I cannot start to describe in detail. It is good for language development, cognitive development, improves vocabulary, helps with rational thinking, imagination, and creativity. Choose the books according to your child’s age. If your child is grown up enough to read by himself, you can read it too and have discussions and ask their opinions. It is a healthy, happy, educational way of building a healthy relationship with your child.
Be gentle with everyone in the family
Right from the first few months, your child is watching and absorbing everything you do. It would be best if you were alert about how you behave around your child. If you are happy, gentle, kind, your child will absorb similar qualities. Remember to treat everyone in the family in similar happy, gentle ways. As your child starts recognizing himself as an individual, start treating him like an individual and respect him too. Avoid fighting, loud and heated arguments in front of your child to help them develop and nurture healthy emotions. Building a healthy relationship with your child can nurture and improve your child’s emotional development.
Be a part of your child’s night time routine to build a positive relationship between parents and young children
Nighttime is when your child is most ready to connect to you. When they’re younger, you can help them unwind with a massage, a story, a warm bath, and some cuddles. As they grow, make sure to spend some time knowing about their day if they are tired of struggling with anything. If you dig deeper, you will find any topic to connect with your child. The question is, are you open to something they are ready to discuss. Warmth and openness is the key to connecting with your child. This is the most natural and subtlest way of improving the relationship between parent and child.
Establish healthy routines for yourself and your children
This may seem off the topic, but it is not. Healthy physical and mental habits matter a lot to every individual. Routines and structures are fundamental for small children to thrive in their environment. They cannot establish their own clocks or habits because they do not have the tools for them. Anything that you establish with your child is easier to be carried forward as they grow up. If you help your child develop healthy habits when they are small and young, there is a maximum possibility of them continuing these habits into the future. What are these healthy habits necessary for a child or any individual? Sleeping well, eating healthy, physical fitness, good emotional quotient, mindfulness, meditation are important for anyone on this planet.
What is the KEY POINT here? PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH. It is not enough to ask your child to do a certain thing or develop certain healthy habits. If you are not following it, there is a mighty chance of them not following it. You can check the authenticity of what you are saying or expecting your child by checking whether you do it. This is an amazing way to improve the relationship between parent and child. It is a healthy way of building positive relationships between parents and young children.
Eat and pray together as a family
Another important aspect that matters to me as a family is eating and praying. As an Indian, these two are essential aspects of our lives. We eat together and pray together as a family. Eating is the way of nourishing this physical body, whereas Praying is the way to nourish your soul. Both are very important. To be aligned with each family member, it is important to be eating together and praying together. There is a ritual of praying before eating food in many cultures. While praying, everyone reaches a frequency conducive to eating the food, the energy that nourishes and fuels our body; what’s more beautiful than an energetically and naturally aligned family.
It is crucial to remember that family is a vital support system for every individual. Nature has created us this way. Animals protect their young fiercely for the time until they can protect themselves; We are blessed with more intense feelings and emotions to nurture our younger ones. This is the beauty of Mother Nature’s creation. Somewhere in this fast-paced life, people are losing connections with each other. Families are becoming detached and away from each other. Each on their own. We can together bring back life in relationships. We need to start building positive relationships between parents and young children. I need to do it. For an emotionally healthy next generation with gentleness, kindness, charity, determination, growth, and happiness, parents worldwide need to build positive relationships with their children.
“Behind every child who believes in himself, is a parent who believed in him first.”-Matthew Jacobson