8 Ways I Consciously Try To Have a Better Relationship With My Children


My children are getting older and I’m beginning to find my time frame of being with them getting smaller. Recently, I’ve found myself yearning to cultivate a better relationship with my children.

How is that possible? Isn’t a child and parent relationship just supposed to happen?

We should strive to cultivate and maintain a strong and healthy relationship with our children, just as we would with the other relationships in our lives. Although they may be growing more independent, our children need us in all of their life stages.

8 Ways I Consciously Try To Have A Better Relationship With My Children

Photo by Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash

Ask open-ended questions

Since my kids started school, I’ve learned that asking how was your day? isn’t going to cut it. So since then, I’ve had to become creative with communicating with my six and four-year-old. Here are a few open-ended questions that have sparked some chattering:

What was your favorite (and least favorite) part of your day?

Did you play with anyone today? Tell me a little bit about them.

What sort of fun things did you do at recess?

Was anyone wearing a blue shirt today?

Aside from asking questions about school, other good open-ended questions I throw at my children from time to time include:

What is your favorite food? (color, song, movie, etc.)

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

What kind of things make you happy? What kind of things make you sad?

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Asking open-ended questions is a great way to communicate with your children while promoting creativity.

Listen to their small problems

One time I heard a very smart quote. Listen to their small problems now so they will one day tell you their big problems. If your children are young, they probably come to you with very minuscule issues that you want to override as dramatic or not important. To them though, these problems are very big. They matter. So make sure they know this.

Quality time together

Put the phone away. Hold off the distractions. Quality time spent together is of utmost importance in having a better relationship with my children. What does this look like? Sometimes, it’s a puzzle and coloring. A trip to the zoo. But mostly, it’s piling on my bed and watching a movie on a lazy Sunday. It’s a campout in the living room with snacks. It can be the smallest gesture but granted that those small moments will stack up big to them.

Let them know that their feelings matter

Big feelings matter. It’s hard being little! Somehow though, us adults forget this. One way I consciously try to have a better relationship with my children is by letting them know that their feelings matter — you can be upset about this, you are allowed to be mad at me for that. Your feelings matter, too.

Read to them

Reading to your children creates a plethora of benefits. Not only are they gaining cognitive skills, but they are developing a sense of understanding of the world around them. Reading to your children is a great way to spend time together while opening up a world of imagination and creativity.

Be silly

Yes! Be silly with your children. Have fun. While there is a time and place for seriousness, life isn’t all about that. There is nothing I love more than being silly with my children, hearing their laughter is the best. So crack open the knock-knock joke book and give all the piggy-back rides.

Make the time for them

This goes with quality time together, but more so, in the sense of simply making the time for your children. When those “small” problems arise, drop what you’re doing and listen to them; consciously making sure that your children’s needs are being met is an important step in creating a better relationship with them.

Give them big tasks

Children love to feel important. They also love to help; to make the grown-ups in their life proud. When you give your children big tasks, they will feel special. More importantly, when you let them do these big tasks and not override them (it won’t be perfect), you create trust. This builds upon a better relationship with your children. A few big tasks may include:

Doing the dishes

Mopping or sweeping the floor

Putting clothes away

Wiping off the table/setting the table

Pushing the grocery cart

I hope the 8 Ways I consciously try to have to better relationship with my children helped you gain some ideas on how to cultivate a stronger bond with your children.

This post was previously published on medium.com.


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