Tips for Building Stronger Relationships with Your Kids
A unique bond connects parents and children from the beginning, but a growing relationship is nurtured over time. Regular intentional moments build lifelong closeness with your children. Look at the list of ideas below for simple ways to make a huge impact in your relationships with your kids.
Add more play to your day. Play games your child likes even if you’ve played them a thousand times. Introduce him or her to some of your favorites. Engage in imaginary play with them. Not only does play help children learn about the world around them, but it’s also a fun tool to help them (and you) cope with stress. If you’ve forgotten how to play like a child, watch and listen to your kids; they’ll teach you.
Sometimes parents think they must spend a lot of money to make memories with their kids. The good news? You don’t! Meaningful moments your kids will remember can be simple and inexpensive. Enjoy a picnic in your backyard. Get your pillows and blankets, and have a sleepover in the living room. Eat dessert first. Be a tourist in your own town. Anything out of the ordinary is a memory made.
Include your child in age-appropriate decision-making. For example, ask your kids for suggestions when you plan meals for the week. Let them pick a recipe and help you make it. Set aside regular time (weekly or monthly) for a family fun night and enlist your kids to plan part of or all of it. When going on vacation, ask your kids to help you choose activities. Including your kids in planning things shows them their input matters to you.
Sometimes it’s easy to tune out kids when they’re talking non-stop or continuing doing other things while they tell you their stories. But kids need parents to hear them not just with their ears but with their entire selves. So give your children your full attention regularly. Look into their eyes and use verbal and non-verbal feedback. They may not recall the conversations, but they will remember that you really listened to them.
Say I’m Sorry
Sometimes kids grow up believing parents never make mistakes because they don’t hear their parents say they’re sorry. When you’ve wronged your child or have sinned in front of them, apologize and ask for their forgiveness. Healthy and deep relationships are those where repentance and forgiveness abound.
Show Them Jesus
The most important thing parents can do is to not just talk about but also show their kids Jesus. The closer your own relationship with the Lord, the more you’ll naturally act like him and demonstrate your love for him. Make the Lord part of your daily life. Sing, praise, give thanks, serve, and pray out loud. Explain to your kids why you do these things. You have an audience watching carefully to see what it’s like to live out your faith every day.