Being a parent is probably one of the most difficult things one has to do in their lifetime. Despite what some might say, having a child means immense responsibility because the way you decide to treat your child can have huge consequences later on. Therefore, it’s important to constantly nurture your child and be a responsible parent. This is no easy task and a lot of parents end up taking advice that doesn’t actually work in reality. If you’re looking to strengthen the relationship with your little munchkin, there are certain habits that you have to embrace so without further ado, here are five habits that can help you build a stronger and closer relationship with your child:
Get to know your child(ren)
A lot of parents think they know their children, but often, that’s not the case, especially when they’re teenagers. Instead of enforcing strict rules, try to talk to your child and find out their fears, ideas, goals, and preferences. You don’t have to try hard, just show some basic interest, so they’ll feel naturally close to you. Many teenagers see their parents as enemies which causes more problems and trust issues. It’s natural for kids to keep secrets from their parents so don’t lash out if you find out something that they haven’t told you before. Instead, try talking to them like they’re your equal and try to build a relationship, so they’ll feel naturally inclined to tell you stuff. That way you’ll actually know what’s going on without having to snoop through their stuff or follow them around while they’re hanging out with their friends.
Be strict, not tyrannical
Parents tend to confuse these two which ends up disrupting often fickle family dynamics. It’s healthy and necessary to create boundaries so your child will know what’s allowed and what’s not. But, simultaneously, it’s important to give them freedom, so they won’t feel constrained and controlled. Be considerate, yet try to introduce the rules that must be followed no matter what. Give your child tasks and chores that will be theirs only. Don’t be too controlling and harsh, but rather show them the importance of completing tasks and following said rules. If possible, try to discuss the rules with your children, so they’ll feel like they have a say in the matter. That way you’ll be able to have a close relationship with your kid and teach them the importance of negotiation.
Spend some time traveling together
When asked what they resent most about their childhood, a lot of now-adults simply say: “Wish my we traveled more often”. The majority of parents tend to focus on buying the latest home appliances and gadgets instead of spending money on family trips, which is wrong. When your child grows up, they’ll hardly remember that cutting-edge dishwasher you used to have, but they’ll definitely remember fun road trips and excitedly flying to a new destination. The easiest way is to organize a road trip during the summer vacation. Many companies offer family off road caravans that are equipped with a wide range of options so you don’t need to be worried about cooking or even going to the toilet. Family vacations can be a great exercise in creating a bond between all family members and making impactful memories that will last for a long time.
Be there for your children
Being a good parent isn’t only about meeting their needs and giving them their own room with a TV and a gaming console. Children need to know that they can always count on their parents. A good family is the one that cares for their children, so they can grow into well-balanced adults. You should always show your children that, with you, they’ll always have a shoulder to cry on and a place to stay, no matter their age. Of course, you should also prepare them for life battles, so they’ll be resourceful and self-sufficient, but at the same time, they should be aware that they’ll always be welcome to reach out and ask for help.
Having high expectations and being quick-tempered are sure ways to push your kid away. Be patient, compassionate when it’s necessary yet learn to stand your ground and have a no-nonsense attitude when you must. Your child needs to know that you’re their anchor, but also not someone to be played with. Aim to create a long-lasting fulfilling relationship instead of buying their love with gifts and there-are-no-boundaries approach. Learn to accept your child and love them the way they are, as that is the biggest act of kindness that they can get from you as a parent.