17 Habits to Help You Strengthen Your Relationship With Your Kids

17 Habits to Help You Strengthen Your Relationship With Your Kids

Last update: 15 August, 2019

Part of your job as a mother or father is to guide your children and help them with their daily routine. This implies setting boundaries, correcting behavior, saying no, and telling them what to do. However, your relationship with your kids is so much more than that. 

Raising a child is a lot more than leading them on the path you think is correct. Creating positive interactions with your children won’t just improve their emotional growth and education. It will also make your job easier. The following suggestions might seem insignificant or a waste of time, but we promise you they aren’t.

You probably already know how important it is to hug your kids. Virginia Satir says that we need four hugs a day to survive, eight hugs a day to stay where we are, and twelve hugs a day to grow. Many, many authors have written about this same idea.

But can hugs make up for the bad moments we have with our children? Because let’s be honest, we all experience bad days with our kids. There are always going to be negative interactions that we can’t always avoid or control.

Positive interactions for a healthy relationship with your kids

We all long for those intimate moments with our children, those times when your heart just melts. These moments of connection are as important for the parents as they are for the children. When our relationship is strong, it makes all the sacrifices of child-rearing worthwhile.

This connection is also the only reason why children will voluntarily follow rules. Kids who feel strongly connected to their parents want to cooperate. When they trust you’ll always understand and be on their side, they’re motivated to follow your lead.

Woman with son looking at a flower.

Being a parent isn’t easy. It never has been, but these days when it’s even more complicated. As parents, we know we have to dedicate time to our kids and try to have quality moments with them. But does that make up for everything else? The answer, thankfully, is yes.

Studies show that you need at least five positive interactions for every one negative interaction in the course of the day. This balance makes it possible to have a healthy and happy relationship that will withstand the normal conflicts of daily life. When you don’t have enough positive interactions, you lose your balance.

When you lose this delicate balance, your children will resist your advice. They won’t want to follow or accept your rules. When the balance is tipped, your children’s attitude will change.

But we’re all so busy and have so much to do. Where can we find the time to have these positive interactions with our kids? When can we restore that important balance?

Habits that strengthen the relationship with your kids

There are a lot of things you can do to strengthen your relationship with your kids. The key to making these positive interactions effective is for them to happen every day. That’s why it’s so important to include these types of interactions in your daily routine.

The best part about implementing these ideas is that you won’t just be compensating for the bad times. You’ll make your whole day better. By focusing on positive interactions, you leave less room for negative interactions. What’s more, when you establish these kinds of habits, your kids will be more cooperative, fight less, and try harder to obey.

The key to strengthening your relationship with your kids is fostering positive interactions every day.

1. – Enjoy some moments every morning with your children. You don’t have to talk, it’s enough to just snuggle. Hug them, caress them. Waking up this way is the best way to start the day.

2. – Talk to your kids during breakfast. Ask them about what they have to do that day. Be interested in their answers.

3. – Leave them love notes. You can slip a note in their lunch box, between the pages of their notebooks, or on their desk.

4. – Sing and/or dance along with your kids to their favorite songs.

A mother and daughter laughing and singing together.

5. – Always say goodbye with a hug and a kiss. Tell them to have a good day and remind them to have fun.

6. – Always greet your kids with a hug and a kiss. Show interest in their day at school or whatever activity they were doing.

7. –  Don’t do work-related things when you’re with your kids. This includes calls, emails, social media, and instant messaging, among other things.

8. – Temper tantrums are usually a sign of anxiety. Children don’t usually throw tantrums to challenge you. When something like this happens, relax and stop what you’re doing to help your child. Help them let out their anger. Be there if they need to try and let them unload all of their emotions. When they’re ready, encourage them to talk. Your job is to listen.

9. – Be encouraging when your child faces a difficult task. Pay attention to their fears and offer positive words and kind gestures.

10. – Laugh at their jokes, as silly as they might seem. If their jokes are disrespectful or inappropriate, tell them nicely that they’re not funny.

11. – Show empathy for all of your children’s emotions. You can limit their actions, but not their emotions. All emotions are acceptable. When you recognize how your children feel, you strengthen your connection with them. Not only that, but you also nurture their emotional intelligence.

12. – Try to find moments every day to play with them, no matter what they want to play. Let their imagination soar and follow their instructions. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t for very long. The important thing is for it to happen every day. Also make sure it fits into your child’s routine.

13. – Share at least one meal a day with your kids. Don’t turn the TV on. Instead, encourage conversation by asking a question that your children will find interesting.

14. – Listen with compassion. Pay attention when they tell you about the problems they’re having at school, especially those related to their friends or someone they like. Listening is one of the most important habits to have if you want to strengthen your relationship with your kids.

15. – Read or sing a song with your kids before bed. If they’re too old for that, encourage them to read before bed and show interest in the book they’re reading.

A dad strengthening his relationship with his kids by reading to them.

16. – Give your children goodnight kisses. If they need to talk, listen. If they’re worried about something, talking about it will help them get to sleep.

17. – Check on your kids to make sure they’re okay before you go to bed. Even though they won’t know you’re doing this, it will strengthen your bond.

Janet Fackrell made a very astute observation: “Some nights I look in on our sleeping children before I go to bed. I watch their softly tousled heads slumbering on their pillows, and sadness wells up in me. Have I drunk in their smiles and laughter and hugged them, or have I just checked things off my to-do list today? They’re growing so quickly. One morning I may wake up and one of my girls will be getting married, and I’ll worry: Have I played with them enough? Have I enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of their lives?”

Time flies by, much too fast. Don’t miss your chance to have a strong relationship with your kids!

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.