Having a child is a big responsibility, but it can also be a very rewarding experience for you. If you and your youngster aren’t on the greatest of terms right now, it’s best not to worry. Instead, be glad to know there are ways that you can strengthen your relationship with your child and get on the same page again.
What you don’t want to do is ignore this very important matter and only grow further apart as time goes on. This may be a good opportunity to try a new approach with your child and see where these changes could take you both going forward.
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Be Available to Listen & Offer Guidance
One way to strengthen your relationship with your child is to be more available to listen to them when they need you. Also, offer guidance and advice when you can tell they’re feeling lost and unsure of themselves. You lending an open ear will show your child that you care deeply about them and that their happiness matters a great deal to you. Try to place any judgments you’re feeling aside and simply take in the information they’re sharing with you without jumping to conclusions or making assumptions.
Make Time for Them
Prioritize spending time with your child, and you’ll be more successful at strengthening your relationship with them. Attend their school or sporting events and show a general interest in their life on a regular basis. Also, set aside opportunities to engage with them at home by helping them with schoolwork or having fun and playing games. Do your homework to find the perfect activity for you two by researching Kalah vs. Mancala and seeing if this may be the right game that will help bring you and your child closer together.
Be Fully Present
A big mistake you may be making as a parent is always coming across as distracted when interacting with your child. It’s in your best interest, and your relationship will likely flourish when you’re fully present and in the moment. Eliminate distractions such as putting away your phone or work matters when you two are engaging in conversation or at mealtime. Giving your child your full attention when you’re together will help you to better connect, and your goal of strengthening your relationship won’t seem so farfetched. These days there seem to be so many external interruptions that this can be a real challenge, but being fully attentive when you’re together will deliver many rewards to your relationship.
One of the most important actions you can take to help strengthen your relationship with your child is to always encourage and motivate them. Let them explore and seek out new activities and interests but try not to push your views or preferences upon them. Let them know when they’re doing a good job and recognize and reinforce positive behaviors, so they continue to display them going forward. One idea is to always end each day on a positive note, so you both go to bed feeling good about yourselves.
Be Willing to Work Hard
The reality is that deepening any connection or relationship with someone is challenging. You can strengthen your bond with your child by being willing to work hard at it and not giving up. It’s not enough to simply wish your situation were different or that you two got along better. You have to take action that’s going to help you progress in a forward manner over time. Put this objective at the top of your priority list and remind yourself each morning when you wake up that you’re going to do all that’s in your power not to slack in this area.
Have Meaningful Conversations
Strengthen your relationship with your child by having meaningful conversations on a daily basis. Ask him or her about their day at school and get a better idea of their hopes, dreams and wishes. Try to teach them lessons that have helped you throughout the years and offer up tips that you know will allow them to get through life with a little less struggle. Another way to make sure you’re connecting daily is to have dinner together as a family and communicate over a nice meal. Be open and honest with your child and express your feelings to them so they know where you’re coming from.
Involve Them in Your Life
You can reach out and ask your child for help to make them feel more involved in your life. Assign them responsibilities around the house so they feel like they’re contributing to the family and taking some of the burden off of your shoulders. Point out when you see them doing good deeds without you even having to ask, and loop them in on important matters where you feel like you could use their opinion. Remind each other that you’re on the same team and there for each other to help make your lives easier for one another.
Avoid Striving for Perfection
It’s also important you go easy on yourself throughout this process and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to succeed. Stay patient and avoid striving for perfection as you work to strengthen your relationship with your child. Monitor any progress you’re making but don’t let setbacks get you down for too long. Keep the bigger picture in mind and be proud of yourself for putting forth an extra effort in this area of your life. You’re more likely to stop trying as hard or become frustrated if you’re setting your expectations too high right from the start.
These are just a few ways to help you in your journey of strengthening your relationship with your child. Put a few or all of these ideas to the test and track what improvements you’re noticing so you can do more of what’s working for you. Most importantly, enjoy the moments you have with your loved one and help them to grow into a confident, happy and healthy young adult.