How to improve your relationship with your child
In my practice, I see many families presenting a variety of concerns about their children. Although these concerns may look completely different, many of them have the same concern. How can I improve my relationship with my child?
This question may be asked to parents when they discover that their child, who seemed to be swimming in life effortlessly, is struggling to stay afloat. It is not uncommon in the first session of parents to share some of my feelings of regret that they never knew what had happened with their child until he reached the point of crisis.
For many parents, how to build a connection is a puzzling question. Although each family is different and how this may be affected by characters, family styles and unresolved sadness, over the years of my work I have found that some simple things can make a big difference in the quality of communication that we have children. From observing families and seeing what works and what isn’t there, here are some ideas I have about things that might make a difference:
1. Children need a good time, but they also need quantity.
We hear all the time that children need a “good time” with their parents. It is extremely important to spend time listening attentively, being present, and having a connected conversation while sharing an activity with them. But my experience as a therapist and as a parent is that it just doesn’t happen. We cannot necessarily schedule “quality time” in our schedule and expect to have immediate contact. If we schedule “connection time”, for example taking our baby out for morning tea so we can talk, the results often freeze and raise our child. Communication, especially with adolescents, often occurs with a lot of indirect quantitative time. He spent some time driving in the car, returning to soccer, cleaning their bedroom together, and going to the grocery store. Our child often shares hidden anxiety or sadness, not necessarily when we have time to communicate.
Communication, especially with adolescents, often occurs with a lot of indirect quantitative time. He spent some time driving in the car, returning to soccer, cleaning their bedroom together, and going to the grocery store. Our child often shares hidden anxiety or sadness, not necessarily when we have time to communicate.
2. Choose your battles.
Many parents I know carry 100% worried about being unstable all the time, and that if they relax their rules, they will inadvertently send a message that they are vulnerable as parents. Thus they stick to their bases through rain or snow. This may be written paternity, but I wonder if the victim in a permanent win in every battle is that our child grows to resent us, that our homes are dominated by tension and conflict and that we lose contact with our child. We can improve
We can improve communication with our children by simply leaving a few things and choosing our battles. It is important to make clear that I am not talking about neglecting important breaches of the rules. But if our goal is to build a connection, it may be helpful to ask yourself “Do I really need to ride my son on every ice sheet that he leaves on the ground?”
3. Show interest in what they care about.
Not in love with the new Pokemon Go app. I am also not in various YouTube videos or doing music. But here is a secret. For my children I am. why? Because it is important for them. If she shows a lack of interest, she closes a wide range of opportunities for communication as they see me as a fun person, interested in what he thinks and values their opinion. Whatever is your child, make it your own thing, too. Ask a lot of questions. You might be surprised by what he tells you to go to find Pokemon … together.
4. Doing random acts of kindness.
Unexpected acts of kindness can earn a lot of parenting currency. Few works of love or care can do much to foster closeness and transform the path of separation. Often times, smaller things can make a difference like doing one of their homework for them (without grudgingly reminding them!) To give them a break, and talking about it positively with another person when you know they can hear you and offering to offer more extra effort. Cheerfully when they expect you to say no.
5. When you feel withdrawing from your child, approach him.
Our children, frankly, can sometimes be so difficult to be close to them. They push our limits, press our buttons, and resist whatever limits we set. Their behavior can sometimes be so challenging that we feel withdrawal. My experience as a treat and as a parent tell me that when we feel like pulling out, we need to get close. Not in the way “you’re in trouble” but in the way “you are not yourself, are you okay?’
By getting close to our kids as soon as they are quiet, giving them a shoulder pressed and kindly inquiring if they’re okay, we can do a lot to fix the relationship when it explodes. It is our job to do this. The security department tells us that as parents we need to be stronger, quieter and wiser than our children. I always feel angry from the heart when I hear about a parent who has distanced himself from his children, cut them off from their anger or left them feeling anxious “to teach them a lesson.” But the real losses in failing to fix the moment are our relationship with our child.
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