Building a strong relationship with your child is important so they grow up feeling safe and secure. The parent-child relationship is the foundation upon which they build their other relationships.
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10 Tips for Building a Loving Relationship with Your Child
There are many ways to build a strong relationship with your child. Here are 10:
1. Encourage your child to express their emotions and feelings appropriately.
When your child is expressing feelings of happiness, sadness, or other new emotions, take the time to validate them. Help them understand why they’re feeling that way and that what they’re expressing is normal. If they are showing negative emotions, such as anger, guide them to how they can express these feelings in healthy ways, such as with words or pictures.
2. Show love and gratitude.
Teach your child to be thankful and express gratitude for aspects of your lives together. Use your words and actions to show your love and appreciation for your child. Use touch and affection to encourage healthy emotional development.
3. Listen and respect.
Acknowledge and pay attention to them when they’re speaking and make eye contact. This teaches mutual respect for the other person and models how to interact with others. When your child respects you, they look up to you. Make sure you lead by example and are a good role model for them.
4. Eat meals together as a family.
Set aside time for one meal every day to sit down as a family to eat. This will give you and your child a chance to regroup together each day. Take this time to discuss your day, have fun, and relax together.
5. Set rules and boundaries.
Every family has household rules to follow. As your child grows up, make sure they learn and understand the rules for behavior inside and outside of your house. Start when they’re young and be sure to model proper behavior. This will help them learn to respect you and their possessions, as well as other people and their things.
6. Show interest in their activities.
If your child finds interest in hobbies and activities, seek out opportunities to show interest in them. Find ways for to interact or do an activity together. This will show that you care for the things they do and help you grow together. It also will help teach them how to be passionate about something and give you both fun things to talk about or do together.
7. Play together.
Surround your child with a lighthearted environment to grow up in. Allow them to express their creativity and use their imagination. If your child is having a bad day, set aside some time for fun and relaxation together. It is important to teach them about their mental health and how play can relieve stress. Playing with your child helps you grow closer to your child as their friend as well as their parent.
8. Set aside time to focus on them.
Ensure when you are with your child that you are providing them with your full, undivided attention. This can mean putting your phone or other screens away and being in the present moment with them. If you are constantly distracted while playing with them or speaking, it may show that you are not fully engaged with them. Also make sure to attend your child’s activities, such as watching their sports games or dance recitals, to express your support for them.
9. Recognize their good behavior.
If your child is behaving well, acknowledge it. When your child does a good thing, praise them saying such phrases as “I am proud of you” or “Great work.” Children seek out parents’ approval frequently. It is important to encourage their positive behavior and show your support to them when they do something well.
10. Assist them in trying new things.
Always encourage your child to try new things. When they step outside of their comfort zone, it teaches confidence and helps them grow. It is important that they begin to build independence for themselves, and not rely on you to be with them constantly.
When your child does try new things, express your support and show that you are always around to help them if they need someone to talk to. Find new activities or hobbies for your child and encourage them to always persevere rather than giving up on something too soon.
While these are just a few tips, they are a start in building a loving relationship with your child. Your efforts will set a foundation of trust, positivity, and safety for your family.
From nutrition to illnesses, from athletics to school, children will face many challenges growing up. Parents often will make important health care decisions for them. We hope to help guide both of you in that journey. UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is a national leader in pediatric care, ranking consistently on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals Honor Roll. We provide expert treatment for pediatric diseases, along well-child visits, urgent care, and more. With locations across Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia, you can find world-class care close to home. We also work closely with UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, a national leader in care for newborns and their mothers. Our goal is to provide the best care for your children, from birth to adulthood and beyond. Visit our website to find a doctor near you.