Unarguably, out of all relationships that a child develops, the most important is with their parents or caregiver. A healthy parent-child or care-giver child relationship allows the child to learn about the world and how they are supposed to live in it.
Children rely upon their parents and caregivers to provide them with safety, security, and affection. This relationship also serves as the foundation for every other relationship that the child will develop throughout their life.
Some relationships have certain risk factors, depending upon where the risk stems from – for example, the child may have a developmental disability, or the family may be experiencing economic hardship. Both can cause challenges for the child and the parent or caregiver with added stress and possibly a lack of optimism surrounding existing circumstances.
Additionally, with parents and caregivers balancing more and more responsibilities in order to provide financially for children, there may be a scarcity of time. A lack of time can cause unclear or rushed communication and listening less, which can result in difficulty communicating.
In this blog, we will discuss a few ways that you, as a parent or caregiver, can combat these challenges and develop a strong and healthy relationship with your child.
How to Strengthen a Parent-Child Relationship?
1. Express love: Loving affection and human touch are essential for our healthy neurobiological and emotional development – regardless of the stage of life that we are at. Hence, it is vital that your child consistently receives loving and gentle touches (such as hugs or cuddles) several times in a day. Remember that every interaction with your child is an opportunity for you to make them feel loved and cared for. Greet them warmly, maintain eye contact while talking to them and be honest in your expression.
2. Prioritize this relationship: Until your child is capable of making their own decisions, they should be your utmost priority. Hence, try and make sure that you are spending maximum time with your child, especially during their formative years. These initial years offer the best opportunities for you to bond with your child, and these opportunities will not present themselves once your kid grows up.
3. Set rules, boundaries, and repercussions: Alongside love and attention, children also require guidance and structure as they learn more about this world. Make sure that your child knows and understands what you expect of them. In the case of any rule-violation, you should employ consequences that are consistent with – and appropriate for – your child’s age.
4. Listen: Listening is the first building block to pretty much every connection. Listen to your child’s words, understand their feelings, and acknowledge the validity of those feelings. It is important for your child to feel that their parent is there to help and assist them. When you try to perceive things from the perspective of your child, you will go a long way in fostering mutual respect.
5. Eat meals with them: Meal times provide an excellent platform for interaction and bonding. These one-to-one interactions can not just help strengthen your bond with your child, but also boost their self-esteem by making them feel valued and important.
To sum up, these little things can go a long way in fostering the right kind of relationship with your child. If you need any additional support or guidance in this regard, feel free to check out our behavioral health services.