Two Steps for Building a Positive Relationship with Your Child

Positive Relationship
B.J. Meurer

Emily is a devoted mother grappling with an unexpected challenge. Her once close bond with her 11-year-old son, Alex, is now strained, and the laughter and closeness that once echoed through their home has been replaced by negative interactions and distance in relationship. This has further led to an increase in Alex complaining and rolling his eyes when given a task to complete which in turn has led to harsher words from Emily and arguments between mother and son; only further straining their relationship. Emily loves her son but isn’t sure how to change the momentum in family life, and she fears that she’s losing touch with the spirited young boy she once knew so well.

When parents get to the point that Emily and Alex are at, they often frustrated and hurt. They also tend to focus on getting their child to cooperate, show respect, and obey better. But what these parents often miss is that cooperation, respect, and obedience all are a product of relationship. So how can we work on strengthening our relationship with our child?

Step 1: Engage in Relationship Building Activities

Sometimes it feels like there just isn’t enough time in the day. But trust me, setting aside even a few minutes for relationship-building activities can make a world of difference. It’s not about the grand gestures, but the small, consistent moments that leave an indelible mark on your child’s heart.

Whether it’s a quick walk around the block, making and enjoying lunch together, shooting a few hoops with a basketball, taking out the trash cans together on garbage night, fixing a broken toy together, or engaging in a friendly board or card game, these simple activities create a space for open communication and shared experiences. As parents, we often underestimate the power of these seemingly mundane moments.

Step 2: Celebrate

Now, here’s the secret to solidifying those connections made during these relationship building activities – celebrate! Take a moment after you do one of these activities with your child and express your appreciation for the time spent together. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just a heartfelt acknowledgment of the joy and connection you experienced.

For instance, after playing a game, say something like, “We sure have fun together when we play this game, don’t we?” or, after tackling a house project, say something like, “We sure make a great team when we work together on these projects.” Notice the language being used here – we, us, team, together.  These words have power because they place us on the same side.

Celebrating is a simple, brief statement we make that puts into spoken words what was just experienced to help reinforce the idea that your relationship is special and that we’re in this together.  Your words of affirmation become building blocks for their self-esteem and confidence. When you celebrate the moments, you’re not just acknowledging the activity; you’re affirming the relationship, creating a foundation of love and trust.

In the busy-ness of life, it’s easy to overlook these opportunities. But remember, it’s the small, consistent efforts that build the strongest foundations.

But What If I’m Stuck?

Sometimes a parent will say something like, “My kid just likes to play video games, and I don’t know how to do that” (or something very similar).  In such cases, take 5 to 10 minutes and just sit and watch your child play that video game. You can sit quietly and watch or try asking a few questions that let your child be the expert and teach you a little about what they are doing. Afterwards, celebrate by saying something like, “You’re pretty talented at this game. I’m so glad I got to see you play and that we spent this time together.”

What you’re doing in these moments is meeting your child where they are at. You’re showing an interest in their world and letting them know that you value them and their interests even when they are not your own interests. That can speak volumes to your child.

Strengthening the Ties that Bind

As Christian parents, we are called to be intentional in our parenting as we disciple our children in following Jesus Christ. Building strong relationships with our children is not only a privilege but a responsibility. 

So, here’s a challenge for you: take the next two weeks to implement these two simple steps consistently. Watch as your connection deepens and positive changes start to happen. 

Free Parenting Resource!

If you want to get started but aren’t sure you know how (or if you just want to go deeper and get some more ideas), I’ve put together a free parenting resource titled Develop a Closer Relationship with Your Kid in 2 Weeks. It’s a comprehensive resource that helps you identify some simple and practical ways you can connect with your child.  Click here to grab your copy and start your journey towards deeper connections and positive change.

Did you know that Dr. Turansky has put together $375 worth of parenting resources in a package and is giving them away for just $7 ? This is a great asset for you and other parents who would like these tools. Learn more here

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