When it comes to parenting, it’s easy to feel like you’re always falling behind. With the Pinterest Perfect Parenting images and Facebook filled with Sancti-Mommies, sometimes you feel like you’re all alone.
Then add the pressures of day to day life, and soon enough you become consumed with what needs to be done, and forget about the relationships you’re supposed to be creating with your kids.
It’s okay though, because there are things you can do today to create a positive relationship with your kids, and help nourish the relationship you already have with them.
These things can also help you to feel better connected as a parent, and help you feel like you’re rocking this parenting thing (because you are!).
Turning these actions into habits and making them part of your everyday life will help build a strong, positive relationship between you and your children, plus they’re fun to do too!
Here are 5 things you can do today to create a positive relationship with your kids:
1 – Have A Conversation
This doesn’t mean a conversation about putting their socks in the dirty clothes basket (because somehow it seems like the dirty clothes basket just disappears for kids!!).
It’s more about sitting down, giving them your full attention, asking them questions, and most importantly, listening to their answers.
Kids have amazing imaginations and conversations with them can be incredibly entertaining and even enlightening. Their perception of things is so wonderful and you might even find the things you stress about as a parent, don’t even hit their radar.
Check out these conversations to have with your kids as a little inspiration.
2 – Let Them Make A Decision
You don’t have to let your children make big life changing decisions (actually, don’t do that at all), but allowing them to make smaller decisions helps them build the confidence and skill to make decisions later in life.
It might seem simple, choosing between broccoli or peas for dinner, but allowing them to have a say, and make a small decision for the family, can help them feel involved and help them establish their role within the family.
Daily decisions like what to wear, what picture to color in, or whether to play inside or outside may seem like simple to you, but for a child, these decisions (and you asking them to make the decision) can have positive and long lasting impressions on them.
3 – Hug And Make Physical Contact
Hugging and physical contact is a basic, fundamental need for children’s growth and development. Not only is it required to help healthy brain function, but it also literally helps them grow.
But when it comes to establishing positive relationships with your children, it’s the boost in oxytocin that hugging and physical contact causes that helps create that connection.
Oxytocin is known as the ‘love’ hormone and helps create connection, feelings of love, as well as feelings of safety and security. In children, it’s been shown that higher levels of oxytocin are associated with better social functioning.
On top of all of this, hugging your child, or holding their hand, gives them the chance to release any emotions, to feel safe and secure, to feel close to you and protected by you, and to just be held. It’s incredibly powerful.
4 – Eliminate Distractions
There are so many distractions in our lives today. From televisions to phones, from having to get the kids to their sporting activities, to needing to cook dinner, all of these are distractions.
And while some are necessary (you kind of have to feed your kids), they also cause you to not be able to connect as well with your kids.
Instead of trying to talk with them and build relationships with your kids while distracted, eliminate the distraction and dedicate time to focus on your kids.
Put your phone down, cook dinner in the slow cooker, turn the TV off and sit with your children. Give them your full attention. This shows to them that they are important to you, more important than your phone and more important than all the chores.
It doesn’t have to be for hours on end, just 10 minutes of time with no distractions can make the world of difference.
5 – Do Things Together
Your life is busy, there’s no denying that. So instead of trying to add more to your plate, why not involve your kids in what you’re doing already.
Getting them to help you can allow them to feel more involved and a contributing member of the family. If you’re cooking dinner, ask them to prepare the veggies, or set the table. If you’re doing your groceries, ask them to write the grocery list, or to find the items on the shelves for you.
You don’t have to create elaborate activities to keep your kids entertained. Simply involving them in the tasks you already have to do will help build a positive relationship and they will love doing it too.