No matter how much you love your child, you are still two unique individuals with potentially conflicting personalities.
Despite how many times you may clash with your kid, rest assured that the foundation of your relationship is built on trust, love and care.
However, you can make efforts to get along with your child and improve your parent-child relationship.
Here are some suggestions you can try in order to strengthen your bond with your child:
Know Your Child’s Love Language
The idea of basing an entire relationship on a “love language” may seem hokey, but all you need to accept here is that people give love and feel loved in different ways.
And knowing your child’s love language can help you ensure that you are filling his or her bucket, so to speak.
For instance, if your child’s love language is communicated through physical touch, you can gain a deeper connection with them if you incorporate more cuddles and hugs into your care.
To get a better understanding of how your child expresses and receives love, here are the five love languages:
Words of Affirmation: Using words to encourage, affirm, appreciate, empathize as well as active listening.
Physical Touch: Non-verbal communication, using body language and touch to express love.
Receiving Gifts: Making someone else a priority through thoughtful gestures (doesn’t have to be a tangible gift).
Quality Time: Uninterrupted and focused conversation during one-on-one time.
Acts of Service: Creating a partnership through nurturing and support.
All that being said, your child may require more than one love language.
However, having a better understanding of what these are will help you determine your child’s needs to build a stronger connection with them.
Validate Their Feelings
Perhaps one of the biggest struggles for any child growing up into adulthood is dealing with emotions.
When children are younger, they deal with the “what” of feelings. Suddenly they have grown beyond “sad” and “hungry” into more complex emotions.
As teenagers, they struggle with the “why”. They know what they are feeling but they don’t understand where the feelings are coming from.
While you can’t make their negative feelings go away, you can help them identify what they are feeling by validating their emotions.
Never make them feel bad for the way they are feeling. Instead, verbally assure them that you understand what they are feeling and will try to provide what they need to work beyond them.
Set Boundaries, Rules and Consequences
The basis of a healthy parent-child relationship is, surprisingly, not friendship. Children need structure and guidance as they grow and your role is to provide that to them.
Setting clear expectations contributes to healthy communication. When you lay down clear and consistent boundaries, rules and consequences, your child can find comfort and safety in knowing what to expect.
Yes, they will rebel against these things – that’s just a normal part of growing up. The key here is to create fair and clear expectations.
Play is an integral part of your child’s physical and intellectual development – but it’s also important in creating a bond between you and your little one.
I know in today’s world parents are tired and distracted and don’t have the wherewithal to play with their children.
In all honesty, you don’t have to put in as much effort as you think. Your children aren’t grading you on how enthusiastically you play – they are simply aware of the time you are taking to engage with them during an activity they enjoy.
If you simply don’t like to play, you’re not alone. Many parents don’t.
To work around this issue, try to find activities you and your children can engage in that you both enjoy – but take some time to jump into ones that your child loves but you may not enjoy.
Eat Meals Together
This suggestion may seem super obvious but many of today’s families don’t sit down and eat even one meal together during the day.
But your children need your undivided attention at some point during your busy day, so why not take the opportunity to connect with your children while you are eating?
Eating is such a relaxing and enjoyable experience which makes it the perfect time to sit down and reconnect at the end of the day.
Improving Your Relationship With Your Child
No parent-child relationship is ever going to be perfect. You will argue and fight and face the sudden urge to sell your little one to the circus.
A healthy parent-child relationship reflects on the overall tone of your bond.
But if you find yourself struggling to connect with your child, or are simply tired of the arguments and blow-outs, then hopefully these suggestions will help you improve your relationship and enjoy your role as a parent.