How To Build A Stronger Bond With Your Children
As a parent, the most important thing you will do in life is raise your children to become good people. To teach them respect, honesty, ethics, hard work and responsibility is your number one job. I believe in a strict household with rules and high expectations but I also believe that is crucial to build a strong bond that stems from laughter and fun. A strong bond takes time, patience, acceptance and enthusiasm. One day these little people won’t be your responsibility anymore and they will be building families of their own. I want my kids to remain my best friends forever and I want to share some tips and secrets to build that bond with your children.
Tips To Build A Stronger Bond With Your Children
Where do we start in the journey of creating that strong bond with your child? It starts day one. All those diaper changes, cuddling, feedings do more than just keep this tiny human alive. You are building trust amongst your children and showing them affection. The baby phase is the easiest time to build a bond but when they start having their own opinions on life and start to push you away for other activities or friends, is when it can be more difficult. Here are some tips to remain close to your children:
- Remember that your child is their own person with their own beliefs and own interests. My son is really into academics and not the best athlete. My daughter is already on her way to be an athlete. They are complete opposites personality and interest wise. As a parent, you have to treat each child as an individual and learn to love what they love. Okay, well maybe you won’t love it all but learn to respect and support their interests. You want them to play football but all they talk about it chess club, let them join the chess club and learn to play yourself. If there is a chess event, attend it with them. Your child won’t be that ideal you had in your head the day they were born. You probably are not raising a professional football player (dad’s, I am talking to you) but if you show that constant SUPPORT towards their passions in life, they will grow into an even better person that you imagined. I believe that 100%.
- One on one time goes a long way! If you have more than one child, this is a crucial thing you have to do to create that strong bond we all want. Give each child at least one hour every week of your undivided attention. By the way, put down your cell phone during these times! Here are some ideas:
- Have a “date night” with your child. Let them pick a restaurant and have a meal together to talk and catch up. This does not have to be fancy. My son picked McDonalds for years and it was perfect. Ask them all about school and their friends. See if they need anything. Is there an event at school coming soon that they want to attend? A new sport they want to try? Do they need some new clothes? Give them the opportunity to talk to you one on one about anything and everything. This can include big important discussions like drug awareness or something little like what type of socks they need replaced. The goal is to make sure they know that this time is to talk about anything on their mind, big or small, and to ensure all their needs are being met.
- Play a sport that they love. My son and husband both love golfing and is the perfect activity for them to get time together. Shoot some hoops at the park, play catch or kick a soccer ball. You can get some exercise in, have a little talk and come home chatting away about the friendly competition.
- Go to the movie theater and let them pick the movie. Grab lot’s of snacks and enjoy just being next to each other. I like movie time because they get to choose a movie that they are interested in and there is always a good talk in the car afterwards about how awesome the movie was and why they liked it. This is important. You are learning about your child’s interests and what makes them laugh or have emotions towards.
- Take them to the zoo, museum, amusement park, or aquarium. Somewhere that they have interest in to walk around just the two of you! They love to point out certain things that catch their attention or share something that perhaps they learned in school recently that is relevant. This time is great because nobody is competing for your attention. You are there and completely focused on them.
- Walk the dog around the neighborhood together. These one on one times don’t have to cost you a dime. Take a long walk together to talk and joke with each other.
- Take time daily to talk. Ask how there day was when you pick them up from school or sit next to them as they are completing their homework to see if they need help with anything. Just a couple minutes every day to say hi and see what’s on their mind. Typically, it is a generic response of “fine” but sometimes there is something important on their mind that they want to discuss like a classmate that isn’t being very nice or a frustration they are having. I also like to sit down together as a family during dinner and everyone talks about their day for a moment. Ask everyone in the family what the best part of their day was. This gives your child the opportunity everyday to have “the floor” so to speak to voice their opinion.
- Allow your child have their own opinion. Let them voice their opinions. Hear them out. Assure that you acknowledge what they are saying. You don’t have to agree with them. Hear out why your toddler needs to eat this entire bag of candy before bed. Hear out your teenager on why they believe they can stay out all night. Then, tell them why it is a big NO. The important part is hearing their opinion and reasoning, and acknowledging their thoughts on the topic. Sometimes, their opinions are good and you can agree. Sometimes, it is ridiculous. Either way, you are teaching them how to have a healthy conversation on a topic where both sides don’t agree (we could use more adults in the world with this skill).
Secrets To Build A Stronger Bond With Your Children
I gave you some of my best tips to build a stronger bond. My tips take patience, time and consistency. Now time for some of my secrets!
- Share inside jokes with your children. Inside jokes aren’t just for the older kids either. Pay attention to what your kids are laughing about. Maybe everyone was dying laughing during a certain part of a movie. Take a home a quote from the movie and put it on repeat.
- Be silly with your children. Build a blanket fort with them or play dress up. I don’t care if my child is 16 years old, we are totally building blanket forts! Why? Because it’s silly and fun. Learn to laugh with your children. Don’t always be on the outside observing; get in there and play, laugh, and bond.
- Prank each other. Go all Ashton Kutcher on your kids and Punk them. Nerf gun wars are frequent in this household. Get into teams and turn the house into a war zone. My two year old even participates. Team up with the kids to get dad as he walks in the door from work even. This is 10 minutes out of your day and the kids are dying laughing and everyone has a moment of fun. We all like to scare each other too. If I hear little feet coming my direction, I hide behind something and jump out when they are near. The kids always get me back! Just keep your pranks family friendly and safe!
Raising children is a hard job. Building a strong bond with your children doesn’t come without a lot of effort. I believe that you, the parent, has to be the dictator in the household. Ultimately, you make the choices and guide your children to become a productive adult. Your children also need to have fun and express themselves. I want a bond with my children that will last forever. I want them to be happy adults by finding what it is that truly makes them happy in life. How do you play dictator and best friend as a parent? Find a balance! Set aside time for your children to speak their minds, give them one on one time, allow them find what they are passionate about in life but also stay strict.
These tips start from day one of your child’s life and continue throughout the teen years. Start today if you haven’t already and watch your relationship with your children blossom!
Share your best tips for building a stronger bond with your children in the comments below to share with the Leggings ‘N’ Lattes community!
Thank you JCS Modern Day Photography for your wonderful photography!