Life today goes by quicker than you can imagine. We engage in a variety of things that take up most of our time: work, errands, homework, extracurricular activities, and household chores. This leaves little time for fun and play with your child. When there is little time to unwind and have fun, it can create tension and a stressful environment in the home. Consequently, when there is high stress in the home, the environment can feel heavy, tense, and conflicts arise between family members. Daily stressful situations and interactions can negatively impact the relationship with your child. As a result, the relationship becomes more disrespectful, strained, and distant. As time passes by, children grow and you miss numerous opportunities to form meaningful memories. Find time to strengthen your relationship with your child through mutually enjoyable activities that they can cherish for years to come. Start by applying these three quick and easy guidelines below.
1) A clean house does not equal a happy home.
Yes, the dishes must be washed.
Yes, the laundry needs to be folded.
Yes, the bathrooms need to be cleaned.
But can’t it wait an extra minute, hour, or day? If your answer to this question is No, then try to think about what is more important: You yelling at the top of your lungs for things to get done and leaving little time to enjoy with your kids OR spending that extra hour reducing the possibility of back and forth yelling by doing a mutual and fun activity with your kids. Children will remember those FUN extra 30 minutes that you spent with them more than they will remember how clean their house was.
2) Complete one healthy relationship act every day.
No matter how small, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you, and no matter how busy you are, one small action from you can mean the world to them. Once again, we get caught up in having children in bed at EXACTLY by 8pm, or completing the homework BEFORE 6pm, that we lose sight of what’s important to the child. One single act towards building a better relationship today can lead to significant changes to the relationship. In other words, one small POSITIVE word, act, or gesture is better than NO word, act, or gesture towards your child. Just make sure you do One a Day. Saying Yes when they ask to eat more than two snacks, having a pillow fight a couple of minutes in the morning, taking a bubble bath with their favorite toys, letting them know that you loved how they “let your sister play with you”, giving them a hug…just because. These actions can slowly turn a negative and disruptive relationship to a healthier and more connected one.
3) Become interested in your child’s hobbies.
Ever heard the words “You don’t listen to me!”
Yes, every parent has heard this at one point in their parenting life. Let your child express him/herself as best they know. You may not want to listen to 30 minutes of how little Johnny spilled ketchup on his clothes and then tried to eat it, but this will show your child that you are LISTENING, and CARE for what they have to say. You may have NO idea what a Vaporeon is (a popular Pokemon), but your child may want to tell you about its powers, strengths, and growth. Listen to the stories, you might find that your child will feel connected with you and this will strengthen your relationship.
These simple reminders can make a difference in the relationship with your child. You can also think of other ideas to help build a fun and healthy relationship and try them. What usually works?
The reward will be priceless.