For so many people, bringing a child into the world is one of the greatest joys in their lives. And thanks to the endless pictures and videos of cute babies on social media. Many even fantasize about the day when they can have a child or children of their own. It is not wrong to want to have children of your own. But many people today don’t even know the first thing about taking care of a child or how to build a good relationship with them.
Aside from the more obvious needs such as; food, clothing, diapers, strollers, toys, and so on, a child needs something even more important than all these. Something you can’t buy at a nearby store. What can be more important than these you may ask; it is your relationship with the child.
Because many parents were not pre-educated on how to build a good relationship with their child or children, they end up taking pointers from their own upbringing. Imagine a parent who had a toxic relationship with their parents, imprinting the same toxic relationship with their children, thinking its right. It is a nasty cycle.
Although every parent-child relationship is unique in its own way, there are a few ways you can’t go wrong when trying to build and strengthen your relationship with your child.
1. Understand Your Child
The truth is; building a good relationship with your child is not as complicated as it may sound. Of course, every child is not the same. Children are born with their own set of traits and behaviors. Some are quiet, composed, and generally more tranquil than other more playful, loud, and vibrant children. This doesn’t mean something is wrong with them. It just how they come, and you have to understand and accept that.
Moreover, to build a relationship with your child, you have to understand what kind of person they are. As a parent, you don’t get to pick the type of child you want, all you just need to do is try your best to understand them and build a strong relationship with them.
2. Build Trust
When you talk about relationships, there is nothing more important than trust. Trust is the glue that holds every relationship together. So, if you aim to build a strong, healthy, and robust connection or relationship with your child, you need to build trust. Your child should be able to confide in you and tell you about the things that are going on in their lives, without fear of reproach or scrutiny. Or fear that it would be used against them later on.
Remember also that trust is a fragile thing, and once lost, it is impossible to regain it completely. So, if your child can develop and build trust with you, don’t take the confidence your child puts in you lightly.
In their desire and urge to ascertain dominance, most parents forget that a relationship is a two-way street. They always want to be the boss, and consequently, neglecting their child’s feelings and wishes. Also, leaving the child feeling unheard and without a voice.
Furthermore, these circumstances are not preferable if you are trying to build a good relationship with your child. This is because the child will gradually begin to close up their feelings towards you and eventually shut you out of their lives. But by giving your child that mutual respect, it makes them feel like you are actually paying attention to them and take them seriously. So, to foster a good relationship with your child, try to reciprocate their respect for you. It will go a long way.
4. Spend Time Together
As I said earlier, building a relationship with your child is not as complicated as it sounds. It is not a bone-crushing task; it can, in fact, be the opposite. Always try to make out time for your child. Take them out to the movies, play games together, read to them, have open discussions with them, carry out activities with them, have family hobbies, go on family vacations.
There are endless ways you can spend time with your child. But why is this important? It may seem like merely whiling away time, but it’s not. By only spending time with your child, your child will grow to be more comfortable around you. And eventually, become more open and forthcoming with you. As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are available for your child, not only physically but emotionally.
5. Start Early
The early bird gets the fattest worm. This phrase aligns with building a relationship with your child. Most parents don’t pay any mind to their relationship with their child until it is too late. They simply believe providing essential needs such as; food, clothing, and shelter is more than sufficient reason for their children to love them. They believe all is well, and that they have a good relationship with their child. As a parent, if you can provide all the essential needs for your child, it is a very notable milestone, but it is merely the bare minimum, it doesn’t end there.
You have to strive from the onset to build the foundation for your relationship with your child. You can’t be lax with this because the longer you wait, the harder it becomes to find solid ground to build your relationship. From the early years of your child’s life, please take the appropriate steps to develop and strengthen your relationship with them. It is a gradual process. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
To wrap things up, your relationship with your child as they grow will play a significant role in how they eventually turn out—whether they end up happy or not, or even decent members of society. So, although building a good relationship with your child is not as complicated as it seems, it is a very sensitive task and should be handled with great care.
Aleksandra Nico, Psy.D., is a Psychologist and Editorial Assistant for Whatsdalatest who writes about mental health, relationships, human behaviour, and health. Aleksandra is passionate about helping others make well-informed choices to support and improve their physical and emotional well-being.