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Building Strong Parent Child Relationships - Part 1

The December holiday is by far my favourite time of the year.  It’s a time for fun, reflection and spending time with those who mean the most to you.  Some of my fondest memories are of me and my parents and siblings playing board games whilst on holiday.  I used to nag them for hours to play with me and when they did, I wished for time to stand still. 

For me it was more than just a game.  It was about my parents doing something with me that I enjoyed doing.  It made me feel important and special and drew me closer to them.  It laid the foundation for our strong relationship through my teenage years and adulthood.  They got to know me, and I got to know them on a different level. 

Spending time with your children is very important.  But even more important, is doing things that THEY enjoy.  Parents tend to plan activities and do things that they think their kids will enjoy.  That is great and very important.  But even more important is doing stuff with your child that he or she enjoys doing.  It sounds so straight forward, but it can be a challenge.  Especially if you and your child’s interests are far apart.  But it will mean the world to your child if you take an hour a day and do something that HE wants to do, the WAY that he wants to do it.   

Here are some tips on building stronger relationships with your child:

Toddlers

  • Toddlers absolutely love physical games. It is extremely easy to bond with a toddler because they ooze love and energy.  With toddlers you can use simple objects like balloons and have fun for hours.  Play ball with your toddler, jump on the trampoline with him.  And when you are both tired, sit down with him and talk to him.  Get to know him.  Ask what he likes, what he doesn’t like etc. 
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  • Tell stories. Toddlers love listening to stories and making them up.  Take turns telling stories.  You will be amazed at your child’s imagination and creativity. 
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  • Become a part of their world. Toddlers have a great imagination. They absolutely love it when mom and dad go into their world of imagination.  BECOME a part of their story.  Act it out and play your heart out.  Go with THEIR flow.  Follow THEIR lead.  It will mean the world to your child.

In our next post, we will talk about building stronger relationships with your school aged children and teenagers.  Important tip:  If you have toddlers, start building that relationship now.  The older they get, the harder you will have to work if the foundation is not right…  But nothing is impossible.  We will share ideas and advice in our next post.

Till then

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