“Connection is a sacred energy that is felt when you are seen, heard and valued. More importantly both ways.”
Parents feel, ‘children need to respect them and listen to them’. Then, it is believed, a strong relationship can be formed between siblings and them. Everyone gets the need to respect elders, but what about kids? Shouldn’t children be respected and listened to too?
Why building a strong ‘Parent-Child relationship’ is important
A parent-child relationship is just like any other relationship. A strong relationship will be formed when parent and child value each other. To build a strong connection, efforts need to be poured from both ends.
Child’s relationship with parents impacts their future. The bonding between parents and kids will affect the kid’s behaviour towards parents and other people. Believe it or not, children observe everything parents do. They learn actions and reactions and try implementing the same. Children are unable to understand the intensity of complex scenarios. With limited maturity, they are unable to understand the reasons behind your decisions. Certain behaviours they pick up may not be conducive to their proper development.
The sign of good parenting is to live the way we want our child to live. To build a strong relationship with your child is investing time, attention and lots of love.
Here are a few tips on how you can build a strong relationship with your child.
1. Tell your children that you love them
A child’s relationship with parents becomes dense when the love is assured. An elaborate declaration isn’t required to express your love to your child. A small gesture or a word of appreciation and gratitude is enough. To express ‘I love you’ to your child there are many ways. If your child does something good, simply say ‘I am proud of you’. If he/she helps you with something thank your child for it. If your child is proud of his/her misshapen drawing appreciation goes a long way. Even if some things don’t make sense to us, they do for kids.
2. Play with your child
Playing is one thing that every child loves and cannot resist. Good parenting involves enjoying the game with kids. For a change be a kid yourself and play with your child. It doesn’t matter what game you play. You can play badminton, indoor games or any other mutually liked games. What is important is to share these precious moments with your child. Playing with children allows them to open up and let their guards down. They don’t see you as a strict parent. Now, you become a Fun parent with whom they can share their thoughts and time.
3. Teach your kids about faith and spirituality
To develop your child’s spiritual beliefs explain to them what you believe in and why. Allow them to ask you questions. No matter how silly the questions are let them ask. Make a sincere attempt to answer them with patience and love. If you don’t know the answers to any question, let it be. You can always say, “I will find out and let you know” or “Can we discuss this later?” But, ensure that you give them the answer, sooner or later.
Practise meditation with children. Meditation will calm their mind and soul. Teach them gratitude. Have a family tradition that will uplift your spiritual energies and vibrations. You can arrange a meditation session every Sunday morning. Let every member of your family attend the session. Your child will learn faith and gratitude. They will stay attached to the family and learn the values.
4. Eat meals as a family
Dinner time has to be family time. Every person in your house is busy since morning with their own routine. You have to clean the house, prepare tiffins and other duties that still await. It seldom happens that everyone is present at home for lunch. Dinner time is the time when everyone gets free. You shade away from the responsibilities and other duties this time of the day. This can be a time when your family is definitely together.
This time allows every member of the family to share their daily affairs. Children get a chance to put up their opinion and get acknowledged. Not only that, dinner with family promotes healthy homemade meal for children. Children will start enjoying dinner time at home and feel deeply bonded to the family.
5. Make time for one-on-one time
If said so, parents might say, ‘we are busy and when we are not busy, children are. They are either at school or tuition. They have multiple study time table and numerous projects to complete. We barely get time to do one-on-one regularly’. Spending time with children isn’t a duty or another responsibility. You can talk to your child while having dinner. Turn that TV off and have fun conversations over dinner.
When your child comes home from school have one-on-one then. Instead of letting them watch TV while eating snacks, ask them about their day. These little moments are precious. Seize these moments and turn them into a fun, deep conversation time with your child.
Children talk a lot. They talk about who annoyed them, what they like and their dislikes. They might even talk about things that make no sense to us. Does that mean we shouldn’t listen? If they care enough to share something silly with you, isn’t that important for them? Take 5 mins off and simply listen to what your child is saying. This will give you an idea of how and what your child thinks. Children will feel acknowledged and respected when they feel you value their opinions.
Even if your child corrects you with a new technology or something else, listen. Make it a discussion instead of saying, ‘You will teach me now?’. There are chances that this time they are right and you are wrong. Yes! Adults can be the wrong too.
Teaching a child is a tough job. Teaching them the way of life is even complex. Mostly because children keep on asking questions. Some of their questions even stay unanswered sometimes. Parents tend to ignore these questions assuming ‘age inappropriate’. You think your child doesn’t need to know this now, so you avoid it. These are the moments when you need to empathize and explain them. Indulge yourself in their conversation. Even if it doesn’t make sense to you, your child might depend on it.
For eg, Your child tells you about a guy she likes in school. This guy doesn’t talk to your daughter. You console her saying, ‘get over it’. You pre-teenager asks the meaning of ‘getting over’. You don’t need to explain everything. You can simply explain, ‘It means, ‘if you don’t like a flavour in ice cream that’s ok. It doesn’t mean other flavours are bad too. A bad flavour in ice cream doesn’t change the definition of all ice-creams’”
8. Slow down and savour the moment
Every moment with your child is precious. Many times parents are busy in their own duties that they end up saying, ‘Not now, later’. This puts a bad imprint on a child’s memory with his/her parents. They will ignore it one time even twice. But, if this happens more often they feel isolated. Children start to feel that parents value other things over them.
Will it be too bad if you take 5 mins off from your work and talk to your child? Ask yourself that when children come and ‘disturb’ you. They walk first to parents because they rely on them emotionally and in every aspect. So, take your time, slow down a bit and savour the moment with your child.
9. Bedtime snuggle and chats
When was the last time you placed your child on your lap while sleeping? When was the last time you narrated a story or sang a lullaby? Children feel connected when simple gestures are made. Parents touch is the first touch a child feels. They get instantly connected to your touch. Next time when your child goes to sleep narrate a story before sleeping. If not a story, you can have a good and positive conversation as well.
Children wake up with the same thoughts and feelings they had while sleeping. Make sure you uplift positive energy in your child while sleeping. The next day you will see how positively it affects you and your child’s mood and relationship.
Forcing children to get attached to parents or spend time won’t work. They might spend time just for the sake of it but won’t truly enjoy it. There is no way a strong connection is built by enforcing things. Make family time fun for everyone. Open yourself up with your children and let them open up too. Share your thoughts and beliefs and allow your child to do the same. Take your child and yourself on a forever relationship spa. You will see how strong the bond has gotten. Eventually, you will become the anchor for your child lifelong.
You are welcomed to read our book, “Miracle anchors” by Narendra Goidani. This book will guide you a long way through good parenting.