If you want to know how to build a healthy parent child relationship with your kids, this post has lots of simple tips that will help you connect on a deeper level with your children, establish healthy boundaries, and avoid power struggles. A healthy parent child relationship has a positive impact on a child’s emotional and social development, allowing them to develop positive relationships with others as they grow and develop. Children who have healthy relationships with their parents are often better are regulating their emotions, and tend to perform better academically to boot! Keep reading for our best tips to help you develop a happy and healthy relationship with your kids.
How to Build a Healthy Parent Child Relationship
1. BE PRESENT WHERE YOUR FEET ARE
One of the best parenting tips I’ve ever been given is to remember to be completely present in the moments I spend with my daughter. As modern day moms, we’re constantly trying to juggle a million things at once, which makes us impatient and irritable. But when we make it a point to turn off distractions and just live in the moment, we get so much more out of the time we spend with our kids. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you need to turn your smartphone off for an entire afternoon – you just need to give 100% of your attention to your child when you’re spending time with him or her.
2. LEARN YOUR CHILD’S ‘LOVE LANGUAGE’
If you want to know how to build a healthy parent child relationship, I highly recommend reading the book The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman. It will teach you how to understand your child’s individual needs, and will help ensure you are showing love to your child in a way that makes sense to them. We all give and receive love differently, and figuring out the best way to demonstrate your feelings to your little one will be a game-changer.
3. SET RULES AND STICK TO THEM
If you want to create a happy and positive home environment, it’s really important that you develop and enforce a set of ‘house rules’ so your child knows exactly what is expected of him or her. The easier the rules are, and the more consistently you reinforce them, the easier it will be for your kids to meet your expectations. While it’s normal for kids to try and push limits and boundaries, taking the time to outline which behaviors you will and will not accept will ensure your household runs smoothly, allowing you and your children to enjoy your time together instead of engaging in unnecessary power struggles.
4. USE POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT
Reinforcement is a fabulous parenting technique that encourages appropriate behaviors in children, and research tends to suggest that positive reinforcement – the act of rewarding a child when he or she completes a desired behavior as a means of increasing the likelihood he or she will repeat the behavior again – is the most effective. Sticker charts are a simple, yet effective form of positive reinforcement that can be extremely motivating for younger kids, and this post contains a list of all kinds of fabulous reward charts you can use to positively reinforce your child’s behaviors.
5. USE NATURAL AND LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES
Another simple way to create a healthy parent child relationship is to use consequences instead of punishment as a way to influence your child’s behavior.
- Punishment is aimed at making a child suffer in retaliation for inappropriate behavior.
- Consequences offer an opportunity for children to learn from their mistakes.
While this may sound easy in theory, many parents don’t use consequences properly – they don’t implement them soon enough, the consequence doesn’t match up to the behavior, or the parent uses the consequence as a way to shame the child.
If you want to know how to use consequences effectively, natural and logical consequences are the way to go.
- Natural consequences are those that occur inevitably as a result of a child’s behaviors or actions (i.e. if a child refuses to eat, she’ll feel hungry).
- Logical consequences are designed to help children replace poor behaviors with more appropriate ones (i.e. if a child fails a test, he or she is required to spend more time studying).
Natural consequences tend to be more effective, but since they don’t always occur as a result of poor behaviors, logical consequences are an excellent positive parenting technique to use. If you’d like more information on how to use logical consequences to help build a healthy parent child relationship with your kids, these articles are a great resource:
13 logical consequences for kids
11 logical consequences for teens
6. SCHEDULE REGULAR QUALITY TIME
If you want to build a healthy parent child relationship, it makes sense that you should prioritize one-on-one time with each of your children, but when you’re juggling a million different things each day, that can feel surprisingly difficult to do. We set unrealistic expectations that spending quality time with our kids needs to be this big, over-the-top extravaganza filled with Pinterest-worthy crafts and gorgeous photos we can share on Instagram, and I’m here to tell you that’s simply not true! One-on-one time can be as simple as playing card games, going for a walk around your neighborhood, cooking a meal, or watching your favorite TV show together. There are no time limits, and the only real ‘rule’ you should have is that you give your child 100% of yourself in the time you spend together. Turn off all distractions – including your phone – and really live in the moment so you and your little one can connect with one another.
THIS POST has lots of great ideas to help you squeeze quality time into your daily schedule along with 28 super easy parent child activities!
7. LISTEN TO YOUR CHILD
While your kids may have a tendency to talk for ages about things that don’t interest you, such as the toy un-boxing videos they watch on YouTube or the latest Roblox game they’ve been playing with their friends, never underestimate the importance of taking an interest in the things that bring them joy. Get down to their level so you can maintain eye contact while they speak, ask them open-ended questions, and repeat what they are saying back to them so they know you are, in fact, listening. And if they try to engage with you when you are busy doing something else, be honest with them. Instead of pretending to listen, explain that you are distracted and can’t give them the attention they deserve at that particular moment. Agree on a time in the not-so-distant future when you can give them 100% of yourself so they feel heard and understood. Remember that when you are approachable and demonstrate an interest in what your child has to say, you increase the likelihood he or she will feel comfortable coming to you in times of need.
8. ALLOW YOUR CHILD TO MAKE MISTAKES
My last tip to help you build a healthy parent child relationship is to allow your child to make mistakes. As tempting as it is to try and protect children from failure and disappointment, life isn’t perfect and it’s important that kids feel confident and comfortable taking risks. Instead of trying to micromanage and fix all of your child’s problems, let them take the lead. Remind them that you are there to offer guidance and support along the way, and help them see that setbacks are learning opportunities. Instead of dwelling on what went wrong, teach your child to focus on what went right, and help him or her strategize what he or she can do differently next time.
If you’re trying to build a healthy parent child relationship with your children, I hope the tips and ideas in this post prove useful to you. Remember to be present and to prioritize one-on-one time, listen to your child without judgement, allow him or her to make mistakes, use positive reinforcement and logical consequences wherever possible, and be clear and consistent with rules and expectations.