Parenting is the most fulfilling job that we will ever have, but it’s not without it’s challenges. Modern family life can be stressful and with various pressures on families it’s not always easy. Ultimately, parents want what is best for their child and a strong parent-child relationship can help lead to better outcomes for children.
Why is a Positive Parent-Child Relationship Important?
The Parent-Child Relationship is one that nurtures the physical, emotional and social development of the child. It is a unique bond that every child and parent will can enjoy and nurture. This relationship lays the foundation for the child’s personality, life choices and overall behaviour. It can also affect the strength of their social, physical, mental and emotional health.
Some of the benefits include:
- Young children who grow with a secure and healthy attachment to their parents stand a better chance of developing happy and content relationships with others in their life.
- A child who has a secure relationship with parent learns to regulate emotions under stress and in difficult situations.
- Promotes the child’s mental, linguistic and emotional development.
- Helps the child exhibit optimistic and confident social behaviours.
- Healthy parent involvement and intervention in the child’s day-to-day life lay the foundation for better social and academic skills.
- A secure attachment leads to a healthy social, emotional, cognitive, and motivational development. Children also gain strong problem-solving skills when they have a positive relationship with their parents.
Parenting Style – Positive Parenting
There is “one-size fits all” when it comes to parenting, we change and adapt as our children grow. However, following some simple positive parenting tips can help when it comes to your relationship with your child.
Warm, loving interactions
Treat every interaction as an opportunity to connect with your child. Be a warm in your expressions, give eye connect, smile and encourage interaction.
Have boundaries, rules & consequences
Children need structure and guidance. Talk to your children about what you expect of them and make sure they understand.
Listen and empathise with your child
Acknowledge your child’s feelings, show them you understand, and reassure that you are there to help them whenever they have problems.
Help your child to problem solve. Be a good role model and show them how to behave through your own actions. When you work with your children to find solutions they learn how to deal with difficulties in a appropriate way.
Strengthening the Parent-Child Relationship
Forming a connection with your child is important to developing a strong parent-child relationship. Here are some tips to help with strengthening your relationship with your children.
Tell your child you love them
Of course you love your children but tell them every day, no matter what age they are. Even on difficult days let your child know you didn’t like the behaviour but you love them unconditionally. A simple “I love you” can do a lot to strengthen a relationship.
Play is so important to children’s development. Young children can develop many skills through the power of play. As well as it being fun and helping you develop your relationship with your child, it can help children’s language skills, emotions, creativity and social skills.
The Department of Education and Playboard NI have developed a range of resources on play for parents with the #PlayMatters campaign.
Make time to talk to your child without any distractions, even 10 minutes a day can make a big difference in establishing good communication habits. Turn off the TV, put away technology and spend some quality time together.
Eat meals together
Eating together as a family sets the stage for conversation. Encourage no technology at the table and enjoy each other’s company.
Listen and empathise
Connection starts with listening. Try and see things from your child’s perspective and foster mutual respect.
Spend one on one time with children
If you have more than one child try and make a point of spending individual time with each of them. Quality, individual time with your child can strengthen your bond, builds their self-esteem and lets them know they are valued.
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