By Uttara Singh
In today’s day and age of technology where everyone is hooked to their phones, laptops and other devices, it is extremely crucial to not lose touch with our loved ones, especially our children. It is important as a parent to take out time and do fun activities, share experiences and bond with your child, so some tips for parents to connect well with their children are:
Set time aside
With both the parents and the child having busy schedules it is up to the parents to set aside a fixed time each day to sit and connect with their child. This fixed amount of time shall help the bond between the parents and the child grow. It could be over a meal or by sharing their playtime. Dining table conversations are a great time for bonding.
Have shared hobbies
Having shared hobbies can be a great source of joy between the child and the parents. From reading a book, painting, cycling to swimming, it is important for the parents to develop hobbies that interest their child in order to bond with them and create a strong connection. Time spent together joyfully creates lifelong memories.
Show interest in their relationships
One of the strongest aspects of a child-parent bond is the comfort level that a child shares with his/her parents. To create this comfort zone at home, it is imperative for parents to show interest in their child’s relationships, be it with their peers or their teachers. Children should feel that they are being listened to and that the parents are the safe zone where they can freely share their feelings.
Adjust your parenting style
It is a fact that as the child ages, it will be necessary for the parents to adjust their parenting style. What worked in the pre-teen years, may not work in the teen years. Parents must read or find out more of what works with different age groups. It is not a one size fits all situation ever. Parents need to keep evolving and growing.
Try constructive praise and don’t compare
Every child is unique and has certain areas of interest. As a parent if you help them explore these, rather than forcing them to do certain things, you will have a happier child. You should never compare children, rather through constructive criticism you can help them achieve all their goals.
Be a good role model
Children tend to connect more with their parents when they see them practice what they say. Hence, it becomes important for parents to practice being good role models as children emulate what they see in their parents. Its important to walk the talk!
Communication is key
As parents, one must always have time to talk to their child regardless of the hour of the day or a busy schedule. As a child grows older, he/she may requires discussions and explanations and not just simple instructions which will create a better connection between the parents and the child. Parents must listen to their point of view and find solutions together.
It is very common for parents to react to their child when he/she is in the wrong. Rather that finding fault all the time parents must frequently compliment their children. “Catch them being good” and praise them often. This will lead to more positivity and a healthier relationship.
Sometimes it is good to not fix everything and let the child do the brainstorming to come up with solutions to their problems. It is very important to not mollycoddle the children. As parents your job is to make them as independent as possible. Increasing dependency will only make your child lose confidence in his/her own abilities. Don’t prepare the road for your child, rather prepare your child to walk on every path confidently!
Be kind to yourself
Whoever said parenting was easy? It’s the most beautiful experience no doubt, but is can be quite difficult too! So, be kind to yourself and just do your best!
(An educationist and an administrator, Uttara Singh is the Director of the Shriram Millennium Schools)
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