How to build a strong relationship with your kids

build a strong relationship with your kids

Strong relationships are not automatic, they are built. As a mom it can be easy to expect the relationship to automatically succeed and to come naturally because you carried the child, or perhaps because you breastfed or took time off work to bond and care for your child or because you are a stay at home mom. The truth is that none of the above are prerequisites for building a strong relationship with your kids. If you have been wondering how to get started, here are my tips on how to build a strong relationship with your kids.

The importance of a parent-child relationship

Before we jump into the tips, let us get a better understanding of the importance of a strong parent child relationship. The relationship that you have with your kids is a foundation from which they will build their future relationships. They look to this relationship to determine if they are loved, cared for and safe. Kids learn about the world around them through this very relationship. Therefore it’s important to be intentional about cultivating this relationship with your kids and keeping an open mind as you do it (there is no manual for it after all). Now let’s dive into how you can build a strong relationship with your kids.

build a strong relation ship with your kids

Prioritize spending time with your kids

“ To a child love is spelled T-I-M-E” ~ Zig Ziglar

Spending quality time with your kids is a way to demonstrate your love for them. Set aside time to spend with your child, and before you mention the lack of time – know that I am not talking about hours and hours on end. You can get creative:

  • Have conversations during meal times
  • Get into their world – play with them or watch their favorite movie with them. Be interested in what they are interested in.
  • Have conversations during school drop off and pick up

The main reason why prioritizing can get really hard is because there might be a lot of priorities but no plan to ensure that you can attend to them all (or at least make another plan). If you find that you struggle with that, grab this free eBook to work on your dreams without putting motherhood aside as step 3 on it is designed to help come with a strategy to attend to everything that matters to you.

build a strong relationship with your kids

Cultivate open communication

According to the Oxford dictionary, to communicate means being able to share and understand each other’s thoughts and feelings. 

When I grew up, children had to do all the listening while parents did all the talking. That made me feel like I wasn’t valued, and it taught me that my opinions, concerns and questions were not welcome.  As a mom now, I believe that listening to my daughter is important. Here is what I am learning, which I believe may be helpful to you too. I am learning to:

  • Listen better
  • Validate my daughter’s thoughts and  feelings
  • Including her in certain decisions by intentionally asking for her opinion
  • Encourage her to ask all the questions she has – making it clear that there is no stupid question
  • Make it clear that she can always come back to mommy and daddy no matter how bad it gets and how bad she believes she has messed up.

build a strong relationship with your kids

Be available and remain available

Available synonyms: within easy reach, at hand; accessible

This is all about being a present parent when spending time with your child. Saying that you are spending time with them while allowing yourself to be distracted by something else is being unavailable. It can do more harm than good because your child will believe that you simply do not want to be with them and that you do not care. On the other hand, being available is about letting your kids know that you are available. “I’m going to do some groceries, call me if you need me.” Letting them know that you are available should they need you is helpful in building a strong relationship.

Come up with mom-kid rituals

Create and cultivate mommy and kid time (ours is called mommy and daughter time, there’s daddy and daughter time too). If you have more than one child, you could name it after each child’s name, i.e. mommy and Josh time or daddy and Siya time. Spending individual time with each child helps them to know that they are loved and valued as an individual. You can:

  • Have ice-cream dates
  • Go for a walk
  • Have a movie day/night at home or at the cinema

build a strong relationship with your kids

Don’t forget the rules and boundaries.

Building a strong relationship is not only about fun and games; it is also about building structure. Children thrive where there is routine and structure. Ensure that your children know and understand what is expected of them, and that they know that there will be consequences (age-appropriate) when the rules are not adhered to.

 

Routines are helpful both you and your children. For the parents:

  • They help the whole family life to run more efficiently
  • Helps you feel organized
  • Helps you better manage your time
  • They give structure

For the kids:

  • They give structure
  • Helps them build healthy habits
  • Helps establish expectations because routines are predictable. They help with familiarity which makes kids feel safe

Parenting is not easy and there is no manual for it.  I trust that tips will come in handy for you as you continue learning how to build a strong relationship with your kids. How has the journey been for you thus far?

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