The bond between a parent and a child is one of the most important in a person’s life. The parental relationship, as one of the child’s first connections, sets the standard for everyone else. Positive parent-child relationships promote autonomy, curiosity, self-esteem, and improved decision-making abilities. Improve your relationship with your child by becoming more involved in their lives and establishing stronger communication channels. Learn how to modify your parent-child relationship over time.
Part 1 Being Involved
1. Get down on their level. You can improve your relationship with your child by connecting with them in an age-appropriate manner. Teach, work on projects, and play at a level that your child understands. This strengthens their bond with you and makes you appear more approachable.
If you have a toddler, get down on the floor and construct a city out of blocks. Participate in a round of video games with your older adolescents or teens.
These activities are more likely to spark conversation than trying to get them to talk at the dinner table.
2. Stress the significance of family time. While your children need to know that you recognise and respect their uniqueness, it also helps to uplift the family as a whole. Make spending time with your family a regular and special part of your routine.
Most nights of the week, eat dinner together and have everyone share their peaks and valleys (i.e. best and worst moments) of the day. Attend sporting events, movies, or community gatherings as a group.
3. Make time for one-on-one interaction with each child. It is critical to spend time together as a group. You should also make time to focus on each child individually. Prioritizing one-on-one time allows you to form bonds with each child. It also assists you in focusing on each child’s unique strengths and talents.
Find a shared hobby for each of your children to participate in. On weekends, maybe you’ll teach one of the kids how to fish. Alternatively, collaborate with another person to perfect a piano performance. Make time in your weekly schedule to develop a special relationship with each child.
4. Maintain contact with academics, friendships, and extracurricular activities. Parents who have positive relationships with their children are actively involved in their children’s lives. You can’t expect to have a strong bond with your children if all you do is say “good morning” and “good night” every day.
It’s understandable that you’re preoccupied with work and other responsibilities, but you should also make an effort to get to know your children and learn about their lives.
If you have time, volunteer at school, coach a softball game, or meet with your children’s teachers on a regular basis to stay up to date on their academic performance.
Sit with them while they do their homework. Assist them in practising their lines for the school play. Invite your children’s friends over so you can see what kind of influences they are exposed to.
5. Take a look around. Allow your children to see that things do not always have to be so serious between you. You want them to respect your authority, but you also want them to laugh with you. A sense of humour can brighten their lives and help them create lasting memories.
To supplement mealtimes or playtime with younger children, make crazy faces or noises. Play pranks or tell jokes on teenagers to make them laugh.
Part 2 Maintaining Positive Communication
1. Be dependable. As a parent, you must establish a foundation of trust. In parenting, trust plays a variety of roles. Of course, your child needs to know that he or she can count on you to be there for them. When you say you’ll do something, follow through. Keep your promise. This assists your child in developing basic secure attachments, which will influence future relationships.
However, trust also entails respecting your child’s need for privacy and maintaining their confidentiality when they do share with you.
Trust does not necessarily imply that you believe everything your child says, but it does imply that you will try to give them the benefit of the doubt.
2. Practice active listening in a distraction-free environment. Parents are extremely busy. But you also want to show your children that you are interested in what they have to say. Even if your child is complaining about the same issue at school or waxing lyrical about adolescent drama, try to give them your undivided attention. When you actively listen to your child, you strengthen your bond with them and demonstrate their value to you.
Turn off the TV and silence your phone. You should not zone out in order to prepare your response. Listen to your child carefully and try to understand what they are saying. Turn around to face them. Make direct eye contact. Make use of open body language. Listen without passing judgement or making negative facial expressions.
Summarize what you heard after they’ve finished speaking. For example, your daughter may inform you that “all the girls at school are going to this camp-out next weekend.” But we have to go to that dreadful wedding.” “It sounds like you’re frustrated because you can’t attend the camp-out,” you might say.
3. Adhere to the three Fs of effective parenting. When it comes to communication and behaviour, every child pushes the envelope a little bit. However, as an adult, you must be able to respond to misbehaviour maturely and calmly. To help you with discipline and to protect the overall parent-child relationship, remember the three Fs.
Maintain your composure. Declare the consequences and apply them consistently.
Be reasonable. Make certain that the punishment is appropriate for the crime. Make an effort to avoid harsh or excessive consequences.
Be cordial. Maintain a steady but polite tone when speaking.  Try not to raise your voice. Simply state what terms they violated and the consequences. Also, when they are performing well, take the time to compliment them.
4. Hold casual side-by-side conversations. Too much face-to-face communication can easily intimidate adolescents and teens. Reduce the pressure by scheduling some of your meetings in parallel. When you’re driving your son to rugby practise, ask him about bullying at school. When you’re baking in the kitchen, ask your daughter about her new love interest.
Take advantage of this time to get to know your child, including their interests, preferences, hobbies, and so on. Share your own interests, preferences, and background with your child as well.
Highlight any common interests you both have. When you talk in this manner, your child is more likely to engage and open up.
Part 3 Changing the Relationship over Time
1. As your children grow older, review the rules and increase their privileges. As your children grow older, it’s important to revisit your rules and guidelines and make changes as needed. As they grow older, children need to see that you trust them with more responsibilities. However, if they break the rules, they may face more serious consequences.
Sit down with your children and go over the rules to encourage cooperation. You might say, “It appears that you haven’t had any trouble adhering to your 9 p.m. curfew.” Because you’re older, I believe we’ll extend it by an hour. “Does that sound right?”
2. Include them in decision-making. When a teen’s parent genuinely wants their opinion, the feeling is priceless. Instead of allowing their children to play a role, many parents simply make decisions for them. However, as your children grow into teenagers and young adults, it can give them a sense of autonomy to express their thoughts.
Allow older children to have a say in more decisions, such as clothing, meals, activities, and vacation plans. You could ask their opinion on how to handle family matters to demonstrate that you value their viewpoint.
“Jackson, what’s your suggestion for this week’s family movie night?” you might ask. or “Where would you like to spend your summer vacation?”
3. Encourage your child to take on new challenges and develop his or her independence. When your child has a strong relationship with you, they feel empowered to face challenges in the world. Encourage your child to develop greater self-efficacy over time by being a strong supporter.
Allowing your adolescent to do their own laundry may be a good way to prepare them for college life. It may also entail empowering your child to stand up to bullies or speak up (respectfully) to a teacher who gave them an unfair grade.
Empowerment occurs as a result of gradual instruction. Teach your child how to handle more difficult chores or tasks. Play out stressful social situations with them. Then, provide them with feedback in order to encourage future progress.
4. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and show your human side. As your children grow older, it’s okay to take off the parent hat and let them see the person underneath. In fact, showing your children your human side can help them remember what they’ve learned. Use personal, age-appropriate stories to demonstrate how your children can learn and grow.
For example, if you were bullied in school, tell your child about it and explain how you dealt with it. Because of how you overcame bullying, they regard you as strong and invincible.
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