The Parent-Child Relationship is one that nurtures the physical, emotional and social development of the child. It is a unique bond that every child and parent will enjoy and nurture. This relationship lays the foundation for the child’s personality, life choices and overall behaviour. It can also affect the strength of their social, physical, mental and emotional health. Like any relationship, the bond between a parent and child can be made stronger with some habits that can be easily incorporated into your everyday routines.
1. Show your love
Human touch and loving affection is needed at every stage of our lives for healthy emotional and neurobiological development. It is important that your child receive gentle, loving touch (i.e., hugs) from you several times throughout the day. Treat every interaction as an opportunity to connect with your child. Greet them with warm expressions, give eye contact, smile, and encourage honest interaction.
2. Listen and empathize
Connection starts with listening. Acknowledge your child’s feelings, show them you understand, and reassure them that you are there to help with whatever they need. Try to see things from your child’s perspective. By listening and empathizing with your child, you will begin to foster mutual respect.
3. Establish a special name or code word
Create a special name for your child that is positive or a secret code word that you can use with each other. Use the name as a simple reinforcement of your love. The codeword can be used to extract a child from an uncomfortable situation (such as a sleepover that is not going well) without causing undue embarrassment to the child.
4. Eat meals as a family
You've heard this before, and it really is important. Eating together sets the stage for conversation and sharing. Turn the TV off, and don't rush through a meal. When schedules permit, really talk and enjoy one another.
5. Play Together
Play is so important to a child’s development. It is the tool through which children develop language skills, express emotions, foster creativity, and learn about social skills. Additionally, it is a fun way for you to strengthen your relationship with your child. It does not matter what you play. The key is to just enjoy each other and commit to giving your child your undivided attention.
6. Make them a priority in your life
Your children need to know that you believe they are a priority in your life. Children can observe excessive stress and notice when they feel you are not paying them attention. Sometimes, part of parenthood is not worrying about the small stuff and enjoying your children. They grow up so fast, and every day is special. Take advantage of your precious time together while you have it.
7. Cook together
Preparing meals and cooking together is another excellent activity that can help to strengthen your parent-child bond. Invite your child to join you in the kitchen and let him or her help you prepare a favorite dish. Ask your little one which ingredients to use, or get some feedback about how your recipe is tasting while you prepare. You can even incorporate added fun in the kitchen by trying a new recipe or experimenting with different ingredients each time. You don’t need to be an expert chef, as long as you and your child are having fun.
8. Take them out to eat
If there’s one thing that binds people closer, it’s food. And it’s true for families, too. So, carve out some time to bond over good food with your little one. Take them to a restaurant or pizza parlor or ice cream shop of their choice. Also consider taking them to the park or nearby beach for a picnic so you both can enjoy the outdoors and fresh air. And if they’re also into fine dining, it would be fun to dress up fancy to make them feel as if you’re going out on a real date.
9. Spend one on one time with children
If you have more than one child try and make a point of spending individual time with each of them. Quality, individual time with your child can strengthen your bond, builds their self-esteem and lets them know they are valued.
10. Be Available
Make time to talk to your child without any distractions, even 10 minutes a day can make a big difference in establishing good communication habits. Turn off the TV, put away technology and spend some quality time together.
Photo Credit Google
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