“There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on.”Leo Christopher
Building Positive Relationships with your Child is what parents aim for.
We all know how this kind of relationship benefits not just our children, but also ourselves.
They grow up happy, confident, secure and loved. Who would not want their children to feel all this positivity, right?
And when they do, they will definitely find success in every little or big thing they set out for.
According to Patterns of Attachment: A Psychological Study of the Strange Situation by Ainsworth, et al, securely attached children are revealed to be the majority of the study’s subjects.
These children feel confident that their attachment figure, most often their parents, will be available to meet their needs.
When upset, they are easily soothed by the people they are attached to.
This kind of secure attachment, as claimed Bowlby “is likely to possess a representational model of attachment figures as being available, responsive, and helpful.”
Unfortunately, when children aren’t provided with this security, they tend to grow up insecure, which can lead to a number of negative effects.
One easy way to solve this though is to strengthen your bond with your children through play, laughter, and connection. Here’s how you can do these:
1. Mirroring or Copying
This game can be played anytime, anywhere.
And it doesn’t involve anything else, other than the parent and child.
You will simply follow what you child is doing. You can start with hand movements, such as clapping. Have your little one clap his hands and you follow suit, with the same style, speed and loudness of your child’s clapping. Whatever he does next, you follow as well.
Whether it is clapping, jumping or singing, copying your child playfully promotes a healthy relationship. It can also repair or enhance your attachment if your relationship went through something troubling.
2. Playing with Bean Bag Toss
Something as simple as bean bags or soft toys can have a significant impact on both children and parents.
Play this game by placing the toy on top of your child’s head. Then, look at each other (the longer eye contact, the better) and place your cupped hands in front of your child. When you blink, your child has to tip his head and let the toy fall onto your hands.
Don’t forget to be playful and not too serious.
Laughter can be healing and it will definitely improve your bond with your child.
3. Playing Piggy Back
This fun activity and the closeness that parent and child feel with every piggy back ride strengthens relationships and enhances attachment.
This kind of physical contact brings forth feelings of security and comfort.
Parents have been advised by pediatricians to use the power of touch and massage their babies at every opportunity they get.
You can continue doing this as your child grows. Even something as simple as applying lotion on your child through massages can improve your relationship with him.
Touch provides the closeness that your child needs from you and massages relaxes their body.
5. Combing or Brushing the Hair
This does not have to be a chore. While it is done every day for grooming, it can also be an opportunity to connect with your child.
When you are done brushing your child’s hair, you can switch places and enjoy a sense of nurturing that can help enhance your relationship with each other.
6. Go Twinning
This trend of parents and children wearing matching clothes is not just fun and aesthetic.
It also facilitates a connection between you.
You don’t always need to have physical contact in order to have a connection. Simply being the same, in terms of clothing, will let your child think that you are one. And this unity will lead to a much closer relationship with each other.
7. Display Family Pictures Around the House
Together with your child, pick the best pictures you have as a whole family and put them in pictures frames.
Or, if you are feeling crafty, you can make your own frames and display them around the house. This DIY activity here is one of our favorites!
Put one in each room so your child always sees you as a whole, thus enhancing your connection and your relationship, in general.
8.Trace Letters or Numbers on Each other’s Backs
It is fun to have each other trace letters or numbers on each other’s backs and letting the other guess what it is.
Apart from enjoying, you also connect with your child physically and emotionally.
9. Identify Similar Things About Each Other
Knowing that you have a lot more in common than just your family name (and your looks maybe?) is more than enough to establish a strong bond with your child.
Create a Secret Handshake
If you have more than one child, create secret handshakes for each of them.
This reinforces the fact that you love your child and that you have a special connection with him or her.
Attachment-based activities help strengthen the attachment that we have with our children.
And this attachment is most influential when it comes to a child’s relationship with himself and with others.
This, in turn, can be quite significant to a child’s success, especially in the long run.
And it is best done right from the start, so your child will feel secure and happy during his earliest years, when his foundation is still in the works.
Also, never miss an opportunity to tell your child “I love you.”
It does a whole world of wonders.