Are you wondering how to build a strong relationship and bond with your child? Read this post for tips on building a positive relationship at any age.
We all want to build a strong relationship with our kids. We want a strong bond and want to be able to really connect with our little ones.
Unfortunately, simply wanting to have a strong relationship with your children can’t just make it so. Relationships take effort. Relationships take time.
There are many things you can do to help have a strong bond with your children.
Build a Strong Family Culture
A family culture is basically what you do as a family. These are things that make your family unique. Building a family culture is a huge topic that could take up a lot of space. In fact, I have a post all about it. You can read my post on How To Create a Strong Family Culture here.
Be Interested in Their Interests
If you want to have a strong relationship with your child, you need to know what your child’s interests are and be involved in those interests.
For a toddler, this means that you listen to their ramblings about that bug she saw on the sidewalk. For a five year old, you listen to her talk about Daniel Tiger and what she saw there.
You listen to their recounts of the dreams they had last night, the jokes they made up, and their quandaries about why the sky is blue.
If you don’t listen to the little things when they are little, they won’t be inclined to tell you the big things when they are big.
A fun way to connect with kids as they get older and can read and write independently is through a parent/child journal. You can get a blank notebook or use a journal sold for this purpose.
Don’t Live Vicariously
We all have things we were wanted to be good at as children or dreams we had as children that went unfilfilled. It isn’t your child’s job to fulfill your unrealized dreams.
Let your child pursue her own interests and dreams in life.
Believe in Your Child
If your child has big dreams and aspirations, be in his corner and believe in him. Let him dream and try to reach big goals. He might fail. Be there to be his soft landing place if he does, but let him try.
Respect Your Child
We can advise our children on what to do and what their talents are, but they know where their heart is.
There was a time Brayden was playing cello in the orchestra. He loved it. He loves music. But upon praying about if he should continue his time in the orchestra the next year, he felt that he should not. We respected that decision and let him decide to stop doing orchestra.
We need to give our children time if we want to build a relationship with them. You cannot cultivate a relationship without time.
We like to focus on “quality time”, and quality time is great, but we also need quantity time. Aim for both types of time in your life.
Play together. Play on the floor together. Play games, play with toys, play sports. You don’t have to constantly play imaginary games with your kids–find ways to interact that work for your personality. Maybe your “play” is doing crafts together. Find something.
Eat family meals together as often as possible. This time is invaluable. It gets so much harder the older your kids get. Fight for this time together.
Go on Dates
As your kids get older and develop interests, find ways you can spend time with them on this hobby or talent. Does your daughter love soccer? Go out and retrieve balls for her as she shoots on the goal.
Does your son love to work on small engines? Spend time learning how and repairing things together. Does your little one love to garden? Plant things together.
As we discussed earlier, be interested in their interests. Do them together. This takes it up a notch from just talking about interests.
Work and Serve Together
When you work together and serve together it naturally brings you closer together.
Spend time doing projects. Clean your home together. Do chores together.
Speak Their Love Language
Everyone has their own love language that helps them feel love. Get to know your child’s love language and work to show love in that way.
If your child is a words of affirmation gal, do not spend your efforts on hugs or gifts. Those things aren’t bad to do–it is good to show love in all ways. But focus on the primary love language and make sure love is shown in that way.
Don’t Take Things Personally
Your child is going to be a punk sometimes.
Because your child is a human and sometimes we do stupid things.
Don’t take it personally.
When your toddler has a tantrum, she might be doing it to get your attention, but it isn’t to hurt you.
Your teenager will have moments she sulks or is moody for no reason. It isn’t about you. Don’t take it as a personal attack.
Don’t take things too seriously. Keep things light hearted. Do not damage your relationship by responding immaturely to your child’s immaturity.
It is developmentally appropriate for your toddler and preschooler to test boundaries. It is physically normal to have a hormonal tween and teen. Teenagers start to separate from the parents to become more independent.
Don’t take it personally.
Along those same lines, forgive your child when she makes mistakes. Keep your relationship loving and a place where mistakes can be made and worked through. That helps build trust.
Grow in Faith
If your home is a religious home, grow in your faith together. Study scriptures together. Pray together. Pray for each other.
You can build a strong relationship with your child over time by doing these things discussed in this post. Always remember, you are the parent. You are the only parent your child has. Be a parent first.
The relationship you are building is a strong parent-child relationship that can be relied on through the years and grow into a strong friendship as your kids become adults.