Research in the journal Pediatrics has revealed that connecting with kids helps them not just live happily but even flourish in life. Thus, 49% of 37,000 children who reported having a good relationship with parents were more likely to enjoy their life. Furthermore, the kids were from 26 different countries which proves the truthfulness of the results. They were asked numerous questions about their lives and self-perception. Interestingly, the children who had strong family bonds also reached success.
It turns out that good relationships with one’s family are very crucial for mental health and even material perspectives. But do you know how to connect with your child? I mean not just asking him common questions about a kindergarten but having a meaningful conversation. If a bond with your kid isn’t so strong so far, you can’t have a heart-to-heart conversation. But it’s never too late to fix everything.
How to Connect with Your Child?
According to the Australian organization the Raising Children Network, what really matters is the quality of time spent with your little one. That means getting to know each other’s experiences, thoughts, and worries. The quality time cannot be scheduled. It occurs whenever possible and may last from a minute to hours. Moreover, it can be called “quality” only if both of you enjoy each other’s company and have nothing to hide. In general, you should:
- create an environment of confidence and respect;
- be in the moment with your kid;
- spend time productively.
So, how to catch the very moment to connect with kids? I’ve prepared the 10 best ways to get closer with your daughter or son.
It’s essential to interact with your little one by hugging him (8 hugs for maintenance and 12 for growth, do you remember it?). The smaller your kid, the more physical interaction he needs. Hold his hand, tousle hair, kiss him, and pat back. Don`t forget to smile at him and keep eye contact. Besides, hug your child when he`s off or gets back. It builds a connection between both of you. Yet, don’t insist if he avoids hugs. Otherwise, you may make him dislike your coddling.
If you have several kids, be sure to spend time alone with each of them from time to time. Sometimes siblings may be jealous of brothers and sisters with their parents. Thus, personal time is a good solution to a problem. Furthermore, practice it when a child is overly attached to one parent. For example, if you’re a dad, and you feel that your daughter has much stronger connections with the mother, try to grasp her attention too. You should share the moment without mom. Only both of you. And you shall reap the benefits.
Get rid of your smartphone when being with children. It’s not useful when connecting with kids. According to the research in the journal of Social and Personal Relationships, parents are more distracted when using their phones. The quality of their connection with kids is poor. Researchers set an experiment, forming two groups of kids and parents and taking them to a science museum. Parents from the first group were asked to use their smartphones while hanging out, while the second group got rid of them. Parents and children from the second group felt more connected to each other.
Get Along with Your Kids` Friends
Ask your daughter or son about people he or she prefers playing with. Yet, don`t be too pushy. The more your questions are sincere, the more your kid will tell you. Ask him to invite them over. Welcome the friends with open arms and try to get on with them too. As a bonus, you teach your child a lesson in hospitality and respect.
By the way, if you’ve decided to homeschool your child, this can be a powertool to bond with your kids.
Support Your Kids
Never tell them that something is impossible. For instance, if your son says that he wants to fly to the Moon, say that it’s quite possible. However, emphasize that he should be in a proper physical condition that requires years of training.
On the whole, follow his dreams, not yours. If he wants to do boxing, but you prefer karate, let him choose on his own. Learn everything about boxing to be a good companion or friend.
Children want to get a reaction from you. Smile, laugh, shout out, make faces and simply get out of line. Even if it’s not the quality of your temper, do your best to show your emotions. Kids will appreciate it.
Humor is the best tool to connect with kids. If you have it, use it whenever possible. Or, just be easy-going and stay positive in case humor isn’t your strong suit. Share your smile, and don’t be too serious.
There’s something magical about a night. We dream and build amazing plans. Also, we become more relaxed and open. It’s a good time to chat with your kid about significant issues. Night invites to the surface all secrets and experiences. Don`t try to resolve it at that moment. Instead, let your kid know that you support him and understand. Leave everything else for the morning. You may also speak about pleasant moments, your child is grateful for.
Don`t pretend to be a person you`re not. Say as much truth as possible, taking into account the child’s age. Share your experience as a kid to exemplify some important matters such as how to be honest, thankful, or confident.
Be with Your Child
Visit every event he takes part in. No matter whether it’s an important sports competition or a school fair. All kids want their parents to be with them in such moments. Trust me.
Connecting with kids can be tricky, but as soon as you stop being just a parent to become a friend, everything falls into place. Being a true friend to your child is priceless!