Positive relationships for parents and children
This month we asked our community; "How to build positive relationships for parents and children”
Why are we asking this question? Why are positive relationships between parents and children so important? Well, we know children learn and develop best when they have a positive, loving connection with their parents and other carers. We also know that there is not a one size fits all formula for getting it right. However, your parent-child relationship develops on connection with warm, loving and responsive interactions, your child will feel loved and secure therefore build a positive relationship.
Healthy relationships with parents and carers help children learn and develop knowledge about their environment– They learn about safety, what it feels like to be safe or not, to be loved, who loves them and how. They learn when to cry, when to laugh and much more.
According to raisingchildren.net.au you may establish a positive relationship with your child by:
- being in the moment with your child
- spending quality time with your child
- creating a caring environment of trust and respect.
Show that you care: When interacting with your child, no matter what their age, being present and listening shows them you care about the things that matter to them. This is a good foundation to build connections and a positive relationship.
Raisingchildren.net.au have some good suggestions to help you stay present in the moments with your child;
- Show acceptance, let your child be, and try not to give directions all the time. If your child wants to pretend the building blocks are people, that’s OK. You don’t have to get your child to use them the ‘right’ way.
- Notice what your child is doing and comment on or encourage it without judgment. For example, ‘Are the big blue blocks the shopkeepers? And is the little red block going shopping?’
- Listen to your child and try to tune in to your child’s real feelings. For example, if your child is telling you a long story about lots of things that happened during the day, they might really be saying that they like the new teacher or that they’re in a good mood.
- Stop and think about what your child’s behaviour is telling you. For example, if your teenage child is hanging around in the kitchen but not talking much, they might just want to be close to you. You could offer a hug or let them help with the cooking, without needing to talk.
Providing your child with opportunities to be independent is part of being present and allowing them to take a lead role in developing their own thoughts, feelings and reactions to what is happening around them. Here are some ideas on how to encourage this:
- By watching your child and responding to what your child says or does. This is great for younger children.
- Support your child’s ideas. For example, if your older child decides to plan a family meal, why not say yes?
- When your child expresses an opinion, you could use the conversation as a way to learn more about your child’s thoughts and feelings, even if they’re different from yours.
Peter McElligott from Bundy Bowl and Leisure Centre says;
After seeing a recent documentary that portrayed how children and youth are being affected by social media and losing the connections with their parents I feel our leisure centre in Bundaberg can be a good way of keeping that important connection. I can recall bringing up my own children and the fun times we had going to other leisure centres both in Australia and overseas. At the time I thought it was good research, however, now I realise that they were some of the special times for our family. This time was the foundation for our now adult children and the bond we developed. Peter’s advice is to get off the phone and start doing activities together as a family to help build a good relationship.
Nathan Van der Klugt from Rhee TaeKwonDo Bundaberg says;
To build positive relationships between parents and children is the same way any relationship is created, with a foundation of trust and honesty. In my experience, a young child will inherently trust their parents at first, however, if the parent breaks too many promises, fails to demonstrate accountability or communicate effectively when they go back on their word, eventually the child will come to realise that their parent can't be trusted or believed, and soon the relationship will sour. Nathan says; It is safe to say that all relationships can be positive as long as there is mutual trust and honesty.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Join in the conversation.