5 Ways to Connect Better with Your Kids by Paula Tobey
Have you ever had an encounter with one of your children that left you feeling like the ‘bad guy’? Either there was eye rolling, or stomping and yelling, or even better – a door slammed on your hand (check out my article about that one here http://phemomenallife.com/need-god) and all you could do was pray or kill a kid, lol. Well here are five great tips for you to have a better relationship with your child that will help prevent any of this from ever happening!
Believe it or not, kids need love. They don’t act like they do (and the older they get they may tell you often they don’t) but they do. The ‘kind’ of love is what is in question. Sure as anything, that too changes as kids grow. They want to show love to you. It’s just differently than before. Less kisses and hugs and more ‘trust’ or privileges. Kids need to feel like they have some control, and if that means telling you to stop kissing them at the bus stop, then they will use what works. Just remember, they do love you! Help them feel loved and respected by trying these tips:
- Know your kids – Can you tell someone with certainty what your child’s favorite activity is, favorite show or book? Can you list off some of their closest friends? What makes your kid tick? Make sure to listen to your child’s interests and pay attention to what they talk about. Ask questions.
- Accept your child where s/he is – The truth is: kids grow up, and they all do it at different times (although research shows it is happening at an earlier age than ever before). We need to be aware that they might just be ready for the next stage, so we should love and respect them where they are.
- Encourage good decisions and positive interactions – When your child does something that is nice or helpful, make sure to comment on it. Positive reinforcement goes much further than negative reinforcement. Negate the nagging! If you don’t like to be nagged by your mother or spouse, why do you think nagging your kid will get them to do much of anything? Give choices and ask them questions like “what are you supposed to be doing right now” rather than “do your homework”. Then after they answer, suggest they can do “A” or “B” and be okay with their choice even if it involves consequences.
- Share some personal things – Kids do want to hear from you. Share with them some of your struggles. Tell them you had a hard time with X, and you don’t want to see them struggle, and that is why you care so much what happens. If they hear from you and your ‘pain’, they are more willing to be understanding and listen to you.
- Be available – When kids get home from school, most of them want to wind down a little bit. Give them some space for a few minutes but then engage with them over a snack or in the car. You never know when they’ve had a really bad day and need to talk. Most kids are just waiting for the chance to feel loved. The more available we are to them, the more likely they are to open up to us when needed.
For more great tips on parenting practices, check out all of my blog posts. http://phemomenallife.com/category/family
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Paula Tobey is founder of PheMOMenal Life Ministries a community for women to go get encouraged and equipped to be the best mom’s they can be to their children by living a healthy balanced life and by becoming all that God created them to be.
She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not dating her husband or hanging out with her puggle Jake, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.
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