Your relationship with your children is the most influential thing in their lives. Building a strong relationship based on unconditional positive regard, where you accept them just as they are without judgement (you may not like their behaviour, but you still love them), is a proactive strategy that supports their healthy development and learning.
Children need to know there is at least one person in their lives they can rely on, someone who is in their corner no matter what happens. This could be a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, coach, anyone who cares for the child and wants the best for them. These people are role models who provide opportunities for children to develop positive habits and coping skills that will stand them in good stead throughout this year and in years to come.
Some tips to strengthen relationships
Talk with your kids
Make time to talk with your children individually. This could be on the way home from school, at dinner time, or any other time that is available. Taking an interest in their lives, how their day went and what they have to say strengthens your relationship because they know you’re interested and that you care.
You might want to use some of the following questions to start a conversation as I know from experience how hard that can be at times:
What was the best thing that happened today?
What made you laugh today?
What would today be on a scale from 1-10?
What are you looking forward to at school this week?
Teach me something you learnt today.
Talk with your child about their feelings. Acknowledge and name what they are feeling, then check in with them to ensure you got it right, as labelling their emotions and identifying what is bothering them encourages them to separate themselves from the problem.
Play is the tool through which children develop language skills, express emotions, and learn about social skills. It doesn’t matter what you play – the key is to simply enjoy each other’s company and give your child your undivided attention.
Eat meals together
Eating together as a family can definitely strengthen the bond with your child. Encourage everyone in the family to put their phones or other devices away and simply enjoy each other’s company.
As we enter the holiday season make sure you take time to strengthen your relationships with your children and create cherished memories that will last a life time.