Don't underestimate the power of one day. Many things can change in the course of 24 hours: a person can go from single to married, discover the cure to a disease, or travel from one continent to another. The same power applies when it comes to improving your relationship with your child — you can accomplish great things in a day.
Most modern families have full schedules, which means much of the time they spend together is while shuffling from one activity to the next. Even home time can feel hectic with dinner, homework, and bath time to check off the list. But busy lives aside, parents still desire a strong relationship with their kids; they want to feel connected, despite the rushing. It's just that sometimes, amid all the hustle and bustle of family life, it's easy to feel like you didn't fit enough of the important stuff in.
The good news is, its doesn't take expensive vacations or grand gestures to improve your relationship with your child. In fact, there are plenty of things you can do before lights out tonight that will increase your bond and build trust. All it takes is a little intention to spread the good feels to both you and your kiddo, and make your relationship stronger than ever.
1. Listen Carefully
Everyone wants to feel like they're being listened to and heard, and children are no exception. Sometimes, what seems like a small issue to adults, may be a big deal to kids. Which is why parents should learn listening skills that will help them to understand the emotions their child may be trying to convey in conversations. This will help with problem solving as well as make the child feel like their parent understand them better.
2. Play With Them
Children love to play, and having their parents in on the action makes it all the more fun. But it's not all fun and games when it comes to reason why parents should play with their kids. Psychology Today reports that there are significant benefits such as learning social skills and bonding with the parent.
3. Take Them Somewhere Special
Kids love to have special time with their parents. Schedule an outing that is just for the two of you. Whether you run out to get milkshakes or just go walk around the mall, being together and having one-on-one time brings you closer.
No matter how old you are, physical contact is an important piece of relationships. Today's Parents notes that touch is a powerful tool for parents and children, and can be expressed in many ways. Whether it's a hug, a high-five, or an hour of cuddling, having that contact can positively impact the relationship.
5. Share A Personal Story
My kids love hearing stories about me when I was their age. It is a chance for me to share a piece of myself with them, and sometimes even give them advice to learn where I made mistakes. Being honest and answering their questions about these stories always brings us closer together and helps to build trust.
6. Don't Yell
Sometimes it's hard to hold it in, but most parents feel bad after yelling at their kids. If you want some ideas to help you stop yelling, something as simple as breathing can help to keep you calm.
7. Laugh Together
As Mayo Clinic reported, there are psychological and physical benefits of laughing — aside from making you feel straight up happy. Sharing some giggles with your kids makes your time together feel happy and makes you feel less stressed. Everybody wins!
8. Put Down Your Phone
To really connect during family time, make a no electronics rule so you can be fully present in whatever activity you and your child are engaging in.
9. Validate Their Feelings
When listening to your child talk about their emotions, Psychology Today points out that validating feelings helps children feel understood. It leads to better conversation and more problem solving as well, which makes the child feel like their parent is really on their side.
10. Be In The Moment
It's easy to get caught up in household responsibilities when the kids are around. I know that dinner won't cook itself, but try to take advantage of those moments when you can have an impromptu dance party while making dinner. Those are the times your kids will remember the most.
11. Ask Them To Help
One way I like to feel closer with my kids, is by getting them involved in the things I am doing. I ask them to help make dinner or put together a piece of furniture, and instead of feeling like a chore, it bonds us and gives us a sense that we accomplished something together.
12. End The Day On A Positive Note
No mater how many time outs and tantrums there were in a day, there is always room to squeeze in some positivity. But it's not just for the smiles, Forbes reported that being positive has health benefits as well. So, connecting with your child in a positive way not only makes them feel good, it could also boost their immune system.
13. Express Your Feelings
When you think something nice about someone, you should tell them — especially if that someone is your child. Everyone wants to hear that they are appreciated, loved, and good at something. Make an effort to point out the good things your kids are doing and watch that smile creep across their face.
14. Eat Together
Although busy schedules make it difficult to pull off every night, Health magazine reports that family dinners are a great time to bond. It's one part of the day when everyone is sitting in the same place, and focused on very few things. Family meals provide a great atmosphere for talking and sharing a piece of your day with your loved ones.