How often do you think you know what happens inside your child’s head? Do you feel like they get more distant over time, and the gap between your understanding grows?
If yes, check these valuable tips to stay connected with your child. You will hardly find these pieces of advice anywhere else, but they are the pillars of respect and understanding within a family. Also, learn how you can build trust and respect by using Brighterly.
#1 Respect Your Kid’s Boundaries
The first thing you have to establish as early as possible touches on your child’s boundaries. You have learned from early childhood that you should take the 1-4-feet distance to respect others’ personal space.
Yet, personal boundaries extend far beyond physical space. As parents, we wonder why our kids burst with anger at our seemingly peaceful actions, gentle requests, and little reminders.
But we often overlook that kids behave like that because we violate their personal boundaries several times a day. For the day until they move and even beyond. How to respect your kid’s personal space? Check a few tips:
Knock on Their Room’s Door
Knock on their room’s door and shut it once you leave. Your child’s room is their sanctuary, and they must be rest assured nobody will get in without their permission. Even if it’s your house, and you’re the law here, you have to realize that your child should also have a “home” within your house. It’s the basic need of any living being.
Otherwise, your kid won’t feel safe in your house, and they will get irritated every time you break into their personal space.
Do Not Touch their Belongings without Permission
Ideally, your child can put their diary on their desk without even thinking you can read it. The same goes for their school bag, wardrobe, cabinet, etc. These are their personal belongings, and nobody should take them without their permission.
Respect Your Children’s Plans
You will feel the protest rising in your chest if somebody interferes with your plans. Children are no different, and you shouldn’t underestimate the significance of their plans, wishes, and desires.
Sure, your kid will rebel if you stop them on their way out because dishes should be washed.
Technically, you have interfered with their personal space and ruined their plans, although you’re right because everyone in the house should share domestic chores. Your child will naturally get nervous and blame you for disrespect.
To make this whole thing a win/win, you could make a chores schedule so that everyone knows when it’s time to put on rubber gloves and get the job done. This way, your children will learn to plan their day so that it doesn’t interfere with the chores schedule.
#2 Don’t Judge Your Kids
Parents and children often feel disconnected due to a lack of sincerity. Yet, it is rooted in how you handle your child’s fears, concerns, and feelings.
Just take a look at a possible conversation:
“Mom, I want to tell you I couldn’t pass my math exam.”
Here is what this phrase means:
“Dear mom, I’ll tell you about my failure, and I hope you will help me.”
The last thing for you to say is: “You could study math better. I told you not to play games and hang out with your prickly friends all the time. But you didn’t listen. I TOLD YOU SO. No games and friends until you get an A in math.”
Sure, you are right. But here is what your child thinks you tell them:
“I don’t care how you feel right now, and I don’t care whether you acknowledge your mistake. I punish you because I’m right, you’re wrong.”
By smashing your kid with passive aggression at such vulnerable moments, you kill their desire to open their heart to you.
Instead, you have to give them the hope and help they’re asking for, no matter how angry at them you are. Just say something like:
“Don’t worry. If you pay more attention to math, you will pass the exam with flying colors. Do you need my help? If yes, how can I help you? If not, you can call me for help at any time.” If your kids have had such issues before, you can enroll them in online math classes.
#3 Get More Physical Interaction
As long as you respect your kid’s boundaries, you reduce most potential controversies that lead to an emotional cold. It’s high time to build more trust and warm your relationship up. For this, you have to get more physical interactions throughout the day:
- Forehead kissing.
- Hand touching.
Note that physical connection solidifies emotional intimacy and improves understanding. It’s also a nice chance to remind your child that you love them.
#4 Spend More Time Together
Exciting time with their parents is what children love the most about family. Just spend more time with your kids and, most importantly, show that you want this kind of interaction. Play games, get interested in things children like and keep up with their trends (youngsters will share their interests by themselves if they trust you).
If you work your fingers to the bone all day long, you can have some little interactions/conversations at lunch, before bed, etc.
Or, you might even reconsider your career if it drains your soul and leaves no time for your family.
#5 Have a Meal Together
Sharing a meal has always been a connecting activity, so aim at having three meals a day with your children.
Eating together helps to build and strengthen emotional closeness as well as share thoughts and feelings.
A Canadian study finds that children have better physical and mental if they eat with their parents.
#6 Learn to Listen to Your Children
Let’s suppose your kid tells you a joke anticipating you to laugh and encourage them. But instead, you turn a joke into teaching.
Or, you start giving your children advice when they tell you about their feelings and problems.
If it sounds familiar to you, don’t do this. Or at least, don’t jump into mentoring straight ahead.
Sometimes, kids seek someone to open their hearts to without asking for advice.
If you listen to your child without interrupting them or inserting your vision in the middle of the conversation, you’re doing great. If you feel like you commit some of these sins, do your best not to.
The Bottom Line
Staying connected to your children is simple – it doesn’t require you to do much. If you respect your kid’s personalities, play with them, and listen to them sincerely, you will build trust and respect in your family.