*This is a guest post
The parent-child relationship is a very significant social tie. Being one of the earliest connections a child has, it sets the bar for everyone else and indicates how the child is going to be in the future. A strong relationship with your child fosters self-esteem, curiosity, autonomy, better decision-making, and problem-solving skills, great coping skills, and healthy relationships.
Parents can stay connected with their children during all stages of life by getting involved in their lives and communicating openly with them. But for parents who work beyond the usual working hours, strengthening their relationship with their children can be challenging.
In this post, we look at ways to develop a strong relationship with your child when you are a hard working parent.
1. Tell Your Kids You Love Them
Parents often assume that their children feel loved. Of course, you love your children dearly but it is important that you tell it to them on a daily basis. Even after disagreements or on tough days, make sure your kids know that although you didn’t like their behaviour, you love them. A simple “I love you” can do a lot in strengthening, building or rebuilding a relationship with your child.
2. Play with Your Children
One way to keep a healthy relationship between you and your children is to play with them. Work on projects, teach and play on a level that your kid is familiar with. It lets your children see your silly side and makes you seem more approachable.
If you have a toddler, play pencil-and-paper games, do puzzles and build forts out of boxes or blocks with them. For tweens and teens, you can play chess, card games or join in on a round of computer games.
3. Spend Time as A family
The importance of spending quality time with family cannot be overemphasized. Family time strengthens family ties, creates strong bonds, and helps families handle stressful situations with ease.
Make family time a regular part of your routine. Eat meals as a family most nights of the week. Having meals together sets the stage for conversation and sharing. Also go to movies, sporting events or community gatherings together.
4. Dedicate One-On-One Time for Each Child
While spending time together as a unit is important, you should also create one-on-one opportunities with each child. Spending time with each individual child not only helps you form a bond with them, but also allows you to identify each child’s strengths and talents.
Have special nights or standing dates with your kids to celebrate each child individually. You can also go fishing on weekends, go on a special trip to the playground, have a movie night, or just walk around the neighbourhood. No matter how busy you are, free up hours in your weekly schedule to create a relationship with each individual child.
5. Aim for Physical Connections Every Day
Physical touch or skin contact is very effective in improving parent child relationships. It is one of the most important stimulations required to grow a strong body and a healthy brain. Virginia Satir, an internationally known therapist, famously said: “We need four hugs a day for survival, eight hugs a day for maintenance and 12 hugs a day for growth.”
Hug your child when you say goodbye, when you meet or as you say goodnight at each other at bedtime. Snuggle or cuddle with them first thing in the morning and last thing at night. A simple physical touch like a high five can also have a positive impact on your relationship.
6. Practice Active Listening
Connection starts with listening. When you listen actively, you show your child that you care about what they have to say, demonstrate their importance to you and most importantly strengthen the bond with your kid.
Unfortunately, being caught up in daily work and responsibility can make it difficult to truly listen to your child in a beneficial way. To listen actively, you need to put certain skills into practice such as silencing your phone, shutting off the TV and trying to understand their message. Also, cultivate a genuine interest, make eye contact and listen without judgement.
7. Be Involved in Your Child’s Life
Parents who have good relationships with their kids are mentally and physically present in every aspect of their children’s lives. Being involved is hard work and it often means resetting your priorities. Sometimes, you’ll have to sacrifice what you want to do for what your child needs. So try to make an effort to know your children and what’s happening in their lives.
If you have some free time, volunteer in your kid’s classroom, attend their concert or play, bring a snack for the soccer team or help with their school projects.
8. Let Your Children Help You
Allowing your child to help you with various chores and tasks provides plenty of opportunities for closeness. It also helps kids feel competent and like they are part of the family. Preparing meals and unloading groceries are great examples of things children of most ages can assist with.
9. Include Them in Decisions
Another way to improve the parent-child relationship is to let kids play a role in decision making. Including teen and young adults in decisions and allowing them to offer their opinions gives them a sense of autonomy. Allow your older kids to have a say on matters like meals, activities, clothes or vacation plans.
No matter how busy you are, you should always make an effort to connect with your kids and develop a strong relationship with your child. And remember the more you connect, the stronger the parent-child bond grows. If you need more help in improving your relationship with your child, call a parents helpline for assistance.
Do you make a conscious effort to build up a strong relationship with your child? Do leave a comment below.
About the author: Riya is an inspired writer, passionate about traveling, lifestyle and encouraging startups. As a freelancer, she understands the importance of productivity at work. Riya never stopped finding new ways to create her work productivity. Connect with Riya on twitter, @sanderriya.