Connecting With Your Child: "Mom, Dad, Meet Your Child"

Is your child becoming more of a stranger with each passing day?
Have you lost the ability to "connect" with your child?
Do you desire a stronger parent-child relationship with your child?

As it is, parents rarely have enough time or energy at the end of their busy days to take care of their accumulating responsibilities. Bills need to be paid, household repairs must be taken care of, cleaning must be done, and dinner must be made, not to mention all of the other tasks that must be dealt with. Unfortunately, too many parents have little or no time left at the end of their days to spend with their beloved (and attention-starved) children. Quality time together often gets reduced to those brief moments each day when mom or dad happen to be in the same room as their child, albeit doing something else.

So, what can be done to remedy this problem? Well, here are some terrific ways in which parents can "re-connect" with their children in the hopes of forming a stronger parent-child relationship:

1. SPEND QUALITY TIME TOGETHER.
2. Hold family meetings each week.
3. Develop family traditions.
4. Plan a family vacation or outing.
5. Eat dinner together.
6. Talk, talk, talk.

Quality time together can include such activities as going on a picnic, playing a game together, working on a craft, building something together, going for a bike ride, visiting a museum or zoo, going to a park, going out for ice cream, or even flying a kite. Activities should be done with as few distractions as possible and full attention should be paid to your child. This should be a time to have fun, not to discuss issues or deal with other personal problems.

Family meetings are a perfect time for you to get to know what is going on in your children's life and to discuss issues and problems within your home. Chores can be delegated and responsibilities can be discussed. This also gives your children a platform to talk about their issues and/or concerns.

Family traditions and vacations (though expensive) are a great way for the family to bond. It gives you and your children both something to look forward to and also creates a fun and exciting atmosphere.

Eating dinner together puts everyone in the family together in one place at one time each evening and allows parents and their children to discuss each other's days.

Talking is essential. Communication should be frequent, open, and respectful. Be approachable and willing to discuss issues that may be difficult or uncomfortable. Ignoring these issues may direct your children toward others that may not share the same values or beliefs as you.

A strong parent-child relationship is built on the foundation of connectedness, trust, and mutual respect. These qualities are much more likely to develop when the above-stated ideas are used as a foundation.

About the Author: Chris Theisen is the author of the parenting websites, www.parentcoachplan.com, www.teenbehaviorcontracts.com, www.behavior-contracts.com

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