The relationships you have with your kids is one of the most important ones that you will ever have in your life, and you want to make sure that you form a strong bond. It is understandable that some parents will clash with their kids due to personality differences alone because it happens! But remember, when you are forming a relationship with your children, you are shaping them as much as they are shaping you. Listed below are tips on how to strengthen the bond between your children and you!
Make Sure You Are Spending Time Together
When your kids are little, you are going to be spending a lot of time with them because they need you as much as possible. And that being said, at that point you will need to have breaks from them so you can focus on having time to yourself which is important for parents.
However, as kids grow and evolve, they will focus on their own friends, their school work, and their own lives. At the same time, parents will have more free time and start focus on their work or careers again, as well as hobbies that they could not focus on while their kids were younger.
As kids become more mature and as they age, they will drift apart from parents. In order for parents to keep a strong bond between themselves and their kids, they must make it a priority to spend good quality time with their children. Whether they take them out for a treat or talk about anything that is on their minds- it is critical that the time for parent/child bonding is carved out each day in order to keep the relationship strong.
Eat Meals Together
Sometimes it is not possible to eat dinner with the family every night. In fact, if kids have extracurricular activities after school, then on those days dinner will likely have to be eaten on the run. And if one parent is working overtime, then he or she will end up eating dinner much later than the rest of the family. However, there will be some nights that the family can eat together. Those evenings with clear schedules in the evening must be used in order to have a family dinner.
Having a dinner at home with the entire family creates a strong bonding experience, where the children and parents can talk about what is on their minds, laugh about funny incidents that occurred earlier in the day, and just be together without any interruptions. Dinner time is a time for parents and kids to have an opportunity with one another to talk about their days and generally catch up.
Even though dining out can be costly, most families can afford to dine out once a month. There are also many coupon sites that offer significant discounts at certain restaurants. Therefore, families should take advantage of those, and schedule a night out with the family to have time together while eating at a restaurant.
Have Regular Family Meetings
Family meetings are a great way to get the business of being a family out of the way so that you reduce the frustration that comes with unexpected demands such as hockey uniforms that need to be washed at 10 pm, or tests that need to be signed before the kids head to school the next morning.
By meeting to talk about what is coming up, you will be able to reduce stress and add some fun to your daily interactions. It is up to the family as to how frequently they will hold their meetings. It can be every two days or every evening for 15 minutes. However, they should be frequent enough so the opportunity is there to hold important discussions that cannot wait.
Do Chores With One Another
Let’s face it. No one likes to do chores- children and parents. However, if kids are helping their parents do the laundry, clean the house, make dinner, do the dishes and even clean the bathrooms, they can make the time more enjoyable by doing the chores together and talking at the same time. Not to mention, when the kids are helping you with the housework, this helps them view the family as a team. The workload is also being spread around which is helpful to the parents. Your kids are also learning about important life skills for their future while they are helping you out.
Plan Enjoyable Outings
Be sure to make time each weekend or on vacation days to do fun things outside of your home with the kids. If cost is an issue you can take them to the park, or look for coupons that provide discounts to certain places such as museums, the zoo, or more. You can also take them to the mall to walk around even if no one is intending to shop. The point is to go out and spend time with the kids. Even though the kids may not say it, they really want to spend time with you and having fun outings together will give both you and them the opportunity to bond.
Ask Plenty of Questions
As your kids get older and more mature, you will get used to hearing them say they did nothing all day at school whenever you ask them what they did. Don’t settle for that kind of answer, and ask them to elaborate on their days instead. Instead of having your kids “what did you do at school today”, ask them instead “what as the best part of the day today”, and they will be forced to give you an in-depth answer.
Once they give you an answer that you are satisfied with, then you will end up having a great conversation. Make this a habit each day after your child comes homes from school.
Share a Journal
This tip is one that many families may not be familiar with and a more fitting tip for parents who don’t live with their kids full time. Whenever we think of having our own journal, the idea of having a private diary comes to mind. Why would you share anything private with your kids, as you and your children are entitled to privacy as well (with the exception of something serious happening in your child’s life and parents need to look for troublesome signs in kids which will be discussed a bit later).
What can be done with this is to create a journal just for this purpose by purchasing a spiral notebook. Then take a page and write a letter to your child. Then ask your child to write back so you can continue on with the conversation in the journal. For parents who are not living with their kids full time has an opportunity to get a glimpse into their daily lives.
However, shared journaling is a good tip for kids who have speech problems but are able to communicate through writing. This way they are learning how to communicate better through writing and their writing skills are developing as well.
Allow Kids to Have Their Privacy
It is very important to spend time with your kids as it is being discussed in this article. However, in order to create strong relationships and bonds with your kids, trust has to be developed as well. Not to mention, spending too much time with your kids will only push them away because they absolutely need their own time. That said, allow your kids to have time alone so they can unwind and discover their own passions by themselves. That is how they will form interests and possible career aspirations.
However, be on the lookout for kids withdrawing and wanting to spend less and less time with you. Look for signs of depression, anxiety especially when it comes to school, and even excessive worrying about the future. Be on the lookout for increased or decreased appetite. Also if your child’s general demeanor has changed and not for the better- then you have to take action by speaking with the child’s teachers and school principal. Your child could be bullied and is afraid to talk about it, or may be developing a mental illness. These changes in your kids must be taken seriously and addressed.
Allow Your Kids’ Friends to Come Over
It is crucial to know who your kids are spending time with, and the more you know about your kids’ friends, the better idea you will have of their social life. This way you will know what kind of kids your children are hanging out with when you are not spending time together. If you are not fond of any of their friends, you need to speak up and explain your concerns to your kids.
Your kids may be upset to hear this from you, but eventually, they will see that you were right as time goes on- or after your child’s friend does something that upsets your child. Then your kids will see that you were not trying to give them a hard time, and know that you were looking out for them like loving parents do.
Always Be Approachable
It is important that your kids know that you’re available to talk about anything that’s on their minds at all times. And, when your child does something that upsets you, be sure to talk about it in a calm and reasonable way. Be sure to ask them to tell you what happened and why, and discuss alternatives without being judgemental or angry. They will be more receptive to you and will be more inclined, to be honest as well.
Be Your Child’s Coach
We are not talking about being a sports coach, though that is okay too. You want to be the person that provides them the guidance that they need. However, don’t tell your kids what to do without explaining the why behind it. This will help them to understand the bigger picture, and see themselves as well as their contribution as part of a larger whole.
Be Sure Your Kids Know That You Love Them Unconditionally
You may not always like your kids, and as previously mentioned, your personalities may clash because sometimes it just happens. But they are your kids, and you love them no matter what. As long as they know you love them no matter what, they won’t fear that your love will ever disappear if they do something that will anger you- which is also guaranteed to happen at some point.
Invest Your Relationship With Your Kids
Always remember that you are cultivating a relationship with yourself and your kids. The time you are putting in now will pay off down the road! You will see that when your kids keep displaying the values that you have taught them! Especially when they are old enough to realize that they could have chosen to do so otherwise. Just know that every conversation, sacrifice, an hour of time you invest is truly contributing to the person your child is growing up to be.
These tips discussed above are there for you to use in order to create a strong relationship with your children. It is also important to mention that there are no guarantees that your children will remain close to you as adults even if you have tried your best with them while you were raising them. Sometimes outer influences can get in the way of that, and your children will get to a point where they will make their own decisions- and not always the best ones. It is an unfortunate situation but it is important to realize it can happen.
However, the odds of your children hurting you in that way as long as you have done your best to create a strong relationship with them is extremely low. Even when your kids seem to be ungrateful teens will come to realize as they mature that you have always been an awesome parent that only wanted to create a strong bond with them- and the bond will then be created for life.