10 Steps To Improving Your Relationship With Your Child
By Mary Ruth Cross
Being a mother is probably one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs a woman can have. The very act of giving birth is a miracle of creation. To be a successful parent you don’t have to have a big huge house, fancy cars or take expensive vacations.
The most important thing to remember to be a successful mother is to be present. You don’t have to give anything except your heart. When you start with being present in mind from the very beginning you will have a child that has learned how to trust you, who will want to talk to you and feels loved completely.
Many families are challenged by busy schedules and a focus on “doing” rather than “being”. Slow things down for your child whenever you can so that you and they have time to play together.
Here are some suggestions of things you can do to improve your relationship with your child:
- At dinner ask everyone at the table to say 2 positive things that happened during the day.
- Ask your child to think of a funny joke – knock, knock jokes never grow old.
- If your child is in a sport or after school activity make sure that it isn’t creating you and them more stress. Be your child’s biggest cheerleader.
- Make sure the household has healthy habits like having a set bedtime so that your child gets enough sleep and you have some down time to unwind at the end of the day.
- Turn off the electronics and read a story together or play a board game. Kids love these activities with their parents – it makes them feel close and loved.
- If you have a teenager who is moody or uncommunicative take him/her on a drive – you’ll be amazed how they open-up when they think we aren’t watching.
- Be patient with yourself and know that we all make mistakes – it’s what we do with the mistakes that matter. Use a mistake as a teachable moment with your child so that they can see how to do things when it is their turn.
- Laugh out loud at the silly things that happen – children are marvelous and funny – they enjoy laughing too.
- If you and your child are having difficulty talking about things you can start a Mom and Me Journal. Get a blank book – preferably one with a pretty cover – and write a note to your child. Leave it for your child so that they can respond when they are ready. Your child then can write to you and leave it for you to respond in your own time. This goes back and forth as often as you want or need it to.
- Hugs and reassurances help kids know that even though life is getting stressful everything will be okay. Use hugs in abundance.
Treehouse Family Counseling Services is here to help in the hard times. We know what it’s like to want to be a good mom and we have ideas and tools we can share if parenting isn’t going the way you wanted.