7 Good Habits to Strengthen the Parent-Child Bond
In our fast-paced world, it's so easy to lose track of bonding with the most precious people in our lives - our children. Here are 7 ideas for parents to re-connect with their children and strengthen that all-important parent-child bond.
As your children grow older, it’s all too easy for that beautiful parent-child bond to gradually weaken. Kids get caught up in their own little lives including school work and friends; and parents in their work.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. With a few simple modifications to your lifestyle, you can create opportunities to bond with your little ones every day and in the most unexpected ways.
We hope you get some inspiration from the 7 ideas in this gallery that will help you strengthen your relationship with your little ones.
1. Eat together
Research shows the connection between families eating together and positive developmental benefits in the child. These include better eating habits, better academic performance, improved behaviour and the development of strong mental and social skills.
While it may be hard to have dinner together every day, do try to eat meals together whenever possible. If family dinners are impossible to have, consider having breakfast or even a snack together.
When you eat as a family, you’re making your mealtimes fun and getting the opportunity to talk about your own day and what the kids did. This helps you bond and stay connected with each other.
If you happen to miss out on family dinner because you work late often, try to be with your child during bedtime.
Bedtime presents a great opportunity for you and your little one to bond. It’s not just about reading a bedtime story and cuddling before sleep. It’s also a chance to talk to each other about your day.
Share details with your little one about what you were most proud of achieving in your day and be sure to also ask him about what made him happy in his day. By sharing information about yourself, you are telling your child that you trust him, which in turn, increases the bond between both of you.
3. Having fun
Having fun together is one of the best ways to bond with your child. This can be done outside, at one of Singapore’s many gorgeous parks or beaches.
It can also be done indoors over a board game, which has the added bonus of teaching your child how to play a game fairly and how to be a gracious loser.
If games are not your thing, why not do some baking or arts and crafts together or even ‘review’ a kids’ movie together? The idea is to bond and these activities are guaranteed to help with this.
4. Hugging and cuddling
The simple and totally enjoyable acts of cuddling and hugging your child are such an easy way to strengthen your bond.
So hug your child the first thing in the morning, before he leaves for school or preschool after he returns home and before bed. Sprinkle liberally with more hugs and cuddles in between these times too.
As a bonus, hugging is good for your health – proven by research!
5. Being respectful
It’s so true that kids can often get on our nerves, reducing us to a shouting ball of stress.
But even when you’re disciplining your child, showing respect to him or her while you do can be more effective and have more positive results in the long term.
Harsh forms of discipline may get you immediate results, but often also have long-term emotional and developmental consequences.
However, if you are gentle and respectful in your disciplining, you are not just bonding with your child, but you’re also teaching him how to be respectful and courteous, even when someone does something to annoy him.
6. Give them chores
When you give your little ones age-appropriate chores, you are boosting their self-esteem and confidence which makes them feel valued.
Tell your child what a good job he’s done and how much your value his help around the house, once he’s finished his chores. This will bring your closer together and help your child grow up into a kind, sensitive adult.
7. It’s the little things
Even if you don’t have heaps of time to spend with your child, you can show your love through other little ways.
Writing a “love note” and popping it into your child’s lunchbox, planning out a fun event during weekends, or fully devoting your attention to him or her when you can with no distractions, will all help to strengthen the bond between the two of you.
Parents, what other ways can the parent-child bond be achieved and strengthened? Do share your ideas with us in a comment below.