Effective parenting and content, healthy families can be built using the strategy of taking time to build strong connections. Busy lives can sometimes mean that the little things really do go lost along the way. Sometimes one of the biggest causalities of a busy family life is the time spent building a foundation of communication and patience. These are key ingredients for being able to raise happy children who are well behaved, capable, and connected to others around them. Parents can builder stronger families when they acknowledge the value of communication with their children and find ways to make sure they take time out of busy schedules to build those strong connections.
Lives with children are busy and hectic. There are appointments, classes, and more, and those are just for the kids. When parents add their own work and household responsibilities into the mix, it can leave parents feeling that everything needs to be streamlined. Here is where the frustration starts and builds. Parents might see a task the child needs to do, such as clean up her pet’s cage. It can be really easy for a parent to walk by and direct the child to complete the job, then walk away, only to come back moments later and explode in frustration that the job wasn’t done well or done at all. Sometimes what is really going on is that the child truly does not understand the job or all of the steps in between.
These types of scenarios really call for parents to take a few extra minutes, clearly and calmly communicate with their child, and help if needed. It often does take longer to help a child learn the proper way than to bark out orders because there is a time pressure for something else. However, those few extra minutes spent building a strong connection will be beneficial in several ways. There will be less chance that anyone in the family will be frustrated, creating a healthier family atmosphere. The children will also learn that their parents see them as valuable and worth the extra time. Taking time to calmly teach children also teaches children to be more independent because they are gaining life skills. Perhaps most importantly, these extra moments taken are opportunities to deepen the parent/child connection.
When parents see that their children are frustrated, they are frustrated themselves, and negative behaviors taking over for everyone, it is time to stop and make a connection. This can mean just taking a few extra minutes to explain something, but sometimes the best thing to do is break out the fun. Adding a little bit of time each day when parents truly enjoy the company of their children, whether it is an hour at the park, a 30 minute walk, splashing in puddles together, or snuggling in chair at the library reading books together.
Building strong connections between parents and children is one of the most important parenting strategies there is. Parents should be aware that they are always teaching their children, and how they teach them really does matter. It is also important to have fun together, even when schedules are crazy. Proactively teaching children in positive ways and celebrating life with them will be foundations for building strong connections.
Your friend and fellow parent,
Parenting Coach, Author & Speaker