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We all want to have great relationships with our children. We want them to love us, trust us and be able to come to us with anything—positive or negative! Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the daily hustle and bustle of life. Read on for tips to build a great relationship with your child that can fit into any family’s life!
Tip 1: Read Together
Set aside 15 minutes every day to read for pleasure with your child. Let your child pick the books and don’t worry about trying to make reading “academic.” Just read to enjoy a book and enjoy each others company. Also, as tiresome as it may be, it’s okay to read the same book 10 times in a row. If your child wants to, go with it! By spending time reading books of your child’s choice, you are showing him or her that you value their decisions and time together.
Tip 2: Eat Dinner Together
Try to eat dinner together at the table (or picnic style on the floor!) at least three or four nights out of the week. I know this is hard, especially as children get older and have evening extra curricular activities. Studies show that eating dinner together will even help your child do better in school because you are spending the time together and staying involved. Ask your child about their day. I’ve noticed that asking questions such as, “What was your favorite part of the day today?” or “Who did you play with at recess?” prompts more conversations than simply asking, “How was your day?”
Tip 3: Spend an hour together
Every week (or at least once a month), spend one full hour one-on-one with your child (or each child you have). Let your child choose what you do, but try to encourage the activity to be something where you interact with each other. Some suggestions are: getting ice cream, getting a pedicure, playing a board game, a trip to the library, a trip to the zoo, baking a cake together or collecting fall leaves.
Tip 4: Make a tradition
Make traditions that are specific and special to you and your children! Maybe every year on your child’s birthday, you take the morning off work and take your child out to breakfast before going to school. Maybe the first Friday of every month is a game night in your family. Or even maybe make a tradition of eating dinner under the dining room table once a month!
Tip 5: Turn off electronics
After everyone gets home from the day, turn off the TV, put away phones and any other electronics and spend 30 minutes together, as a family, without interruptions. This might be harder than you think! But the time devoted to catching up from the day will be great for everyone. You might even find that it’s a breather after a long day to shut everything down and be with your loved ones.
Do you have anything special you do with your children that they love? Share your relationship building ideas so others can gain new ideas as well!