Having a good relationship with our kids is SO important! Not only does it make us happy when we have a strong relationship, but it’s also a big part of influencing their hearts. When you have a good connection with your kids, they want to please you and are much more likely to trust that you have their best interest at heart. They aren’t as likely to complain and buck against the rules when you have a relationship that keeps that bond strong.
Here are six things you can intentionally do to strengthen the relationship:
1. Read together.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is just for the LITTLE ones. Even your older kids and teens enjoy listening to good stories! There’s also a bond that takes place when you all snuggle up on the couch and read together.
Make it a fun time, and read books they enjoy. Stop at an exciting point so they can’t wait till the next time you are going to read.
2. Turn the technology off.
Electronics can be such a HUGE distraction! Consider how much time you spend on SCREEN time when your kids are around. You may be surprised to realize just how much of your time is consumed that way, when you could be spending it with your kids.
When your kids want to talk, put the electronics down and give them your attention. They will remember that they were important enough to you that you were willing to get off of Facebook, or put your phone down.
3. Give lots of physical touch and hugs.
Give lots of tickles and hugs, rub their back, tousle their hair, etc. Kids never get too old for this.
Teens need to be hugged, even though they may act resistant to it at times.
Always hugs your kids before they leave, when they come home, and at bedtime!
4. Listen to their heart.
Really listen to your kids when they are talking to you. It’s easy to be distracted and not really get what it is our kids are telling us. Often they are trying to express hurt, or fear.
Rather than being quick to give an answer, we should listen with the intent to understand and feel what they are feeling. Get excited about what they are excited about, and offer comfort when they are expressing sadness.
5. Be available.
When your kids get up in the morning, be there to greet them cheerfully and let them know you are happy to see them. When they come home from special events, be there to let them tell you about it. When they are home, be sure they realize you are available if they need to talk or just need some extra attention and love.
6. Make bedtime special.
At bedtime, allow extra time for some chatting, and prayer. Often kids will open up about their day and share their heart with you. After the chatting, pray with them. Praying together brings a unity and closeness unlike anything else can do.
Even when your kids get older, I would encourage you to have some kind of a bedtime routine where you spend time with them for just a few minutes (or longer if they need to talk). This is such a good time to get your teens to open up and share their hearts with your. Praying with them about their needs, concerns, etc also brings a closeness.
I know you’re tired at the end of the day, and the last thing you really want to do is take time to “put everyone to bed”. But it’s such a great way to end the day on a good note with your kids, and to just make one more connection to strengthen that relationship.
These are just a few simple habits I would encourage you to establish to strengthen your relationship with your kids. What would you add to the list?
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