As the door slams in your face after another argument, you may be wondering what prompted you to have kids in the first place. The love, pride and joy your children provide seems miles away during seasons of conflict, but all is not lost. No healthy parent-child relationship is without conflict. A few intentional strategies can pump some love back into your relationship.
Type it Out
Communication is a powerful tool, especially when you want to build a solid and strong relationship. Even if your child is still very young, you can communicate and get ideas across that improve your ability to provide a safe and understanding home environment.
According to Dr. Jeremy Jewell, an instructor at Southern Illinois University, you need to keep lines of communication open as an important part of correcting your children when they have mistakes or forget commitments. When your children are young, tell them that they are loved and cuddle with them as often as you can.
As your children get older, it might be easier to communicate by sending an email or text message. It is hard for teenagers or children who are getting close to their teen years to talk about their problems directly, but an email might allow your children to open up about any worries, concerns or curiosities they are developing.
Be a Friend
Set aside time to spend with your children. GlobeNewsWire.com suggests you show an interest in your children’s activities, ideas and statements. Encourage your children to tell you what they want to do and get involved directly by planning family activities that are centered around your children’s interests.
Take time to go to local events, live plays or even watch your child’s favorite TV show together. You can always check out what’s happening in your local newspaper or find TV listings and local event calendars online to see what fun activities are available to enjoy with your kids.
Spend at least one day together as a family or set aside an hour every day to talk, enjoy activities together or simply watch a movie on TV. That exposure to fun as a family can go a long way to making your child feel safe and accepted.
Eat as a Family
Eating dinner together as a family is an excellent time to talk about your day, ask your children about their upcoming events in school or simply enjoy company as a family. During this time, focus on positive thoughts, expressions and ideas, even if you are currently upset with a behavior your child or children have engaged in.
The Alabama Cooperative Extension System suggests that constant control and correction can ruin a relationship. Set aside meal times as a neutral period where your children can feel safe that they will not face disappointed expressions, continued lectures or other negative situations.
Provide Positive Feedback
Although it is important to correct your children, you do not want to develop a relationship that is built on power and control. Instead, focus on your child’s accomplishments and improvements. Positive feedback teaches your child good behavior and will reduce the number of misbehaviors. Save correction for situations that are dangerous for your child or broken household rules.
Develop a great relationship with your children by taking a little extra time. By focusing on positives and spending time together, your children will know that they are loved and safe from an early age.
Written by Danielle Hernandez: Originally from Seattle, Danielle moved to Phoenix for love. She enjoys writing about a variety of women’s topics.