There are plenty of things you can do at home to build stronger relationships with your children. Positive relationship building for both children, parents and adults is something we can often take for granted.
The bond between parents and their children can be pretty fluid – strong one minute, significantly weaker the next. Kids go through various stages of development before they reach adulthood and not all of them are a breeze.
In order to build stronger relationships with your children, developing your child’s communication skills are essential, and not just in the short term. Building the perfect environment means that your child will have the best of starts, embedding relationship-building life skills that will benefit them at any age.
I’m Sonal Dave, and I’m a professional speaker and communication expert who provides courses for both adults and children of all ages.
Here are my tips to build stronger relationships with your children:
1. Engage Often and Meaningfully
Parents get tied up with lots of things nowadays and, in many families, both have full-time jobs. It’s important, however, to make a conscious effort to engage in meaningful ways with your children from the very beginning. Put time aside for quality interactions and use every moment you can to make a difference.
2. Discuss Important Issues
Get into the habit of discussing different topics with your child. That could be a news item that has piqued interest on TV or something that’s happening at school.
This is a great way to explore important issues, working together to find solutions. It promotes critical thinking and collaboration which are also important life skills.
3. Cooking and Eating Together
The kitchen is the heart of most homes and a place where conversation and good food go hand in hand. Cooking together is another opportunity to have a conversation and talk about life while also having some creative fun.
Always eat dinner at the dinner table with no distractions such as smartphones and the TV.
4. Play Together
It may sound simple, but finding time for play is vitally important for children and parents. It’s how the strong bond between them develops most strongly. Have a list of activities and make time to give them your full attention.
5. Storytelling for Families
Storytelling is an integral part of life in so many ways and can help build stronger relationships with your children. We’re hardwired to be engaged and it’s a brilliant communication skill to develop early. Create new worlds and possibilities, act out a play your children have written or have a pop night and get them to compose new lyrics to old tunes.
6. Provide Support
Supporting your child may also be obvious but, with many of us time-deprived, it can be difficult sometimes. Develop those listening skills and use them to understand what your child is going through.
7. Learn a New Skill Together
Another great option is to learn something new together. I run courses for public speaking for kids and adults. This is another useful communication skill which also helps build confidence.
8. Share Your Stories/Listen to Theirs
Another important aspect of building stronger relationships with your children is sharing life experiences. It’s important to be open and honest, not only telling the good tales of your life and also listening to your child’s experiences as well.
9. Encourage Your Child to Express Their Feelings
Of course, we can all have difficulty talking about our feelings. A younger child might not have the language or understanding to communicate effectively. As they grow older, they might be too embarrassed.
Getting your children to talk expressively and explore their emotions is not only good for their communication skills but their mental health. That means, of course, that you have to talk about your feelings as well – it’s a two-way street after all!
10. Control Screen Time
Controlling screen time is the bane of most parents’ lives – as your child gets older, it becomes increasingly difficult to get them off their smartphone or playing that computer game. These innovative bits of technology can put a drain on quality time and, in severe cases, actually create distance between children and adults.
It’s important to set rules for these kinds of activities and make sure you adhere to them. It’s easy to get into a situation where your child is playing constantly without any input from you as a parent and little or no conversation.
Would you like to learn how to be more confident when public speaking? Learn more about the public speaking workshops here