Life has its infinite ways of distracting and separating us from our families. Good parenting is not an easy task when an average child spends most of the day with teachers, friends or playing computer games. It is said that for each negative interaction any successful relationship has to have five positive ones. How can you nourish family bonding when you spend most of the time away from them?
5 ways to improve relationships in your family
Good parenting is not possible if there’s no emotional connection between parents and children. These tips will help you stay in sync or re-connect with your family:
- Prioritize your family. Your family comes first – this is the basic and most important rule of good parenting and a well-balanced family life. Whenever you’re faced with difficult decisions (whether it’s about work, friends, finances etc.) let this be your guideline – take care of your family first no matter what. When your heart and mind prioritize something else rather than your family, it will reflect in any thought, action or decision you make. You can’t expect others to be emotionally attached to you, care for you or respect you if you’re showing with your words and actions that just about anything is more important than them.
- Invest in activities that nurture relations. Sensory plays (various tactile plays that help the development of child senses, i.e. playing with a cookie dough, jelly, mud etc.) are a great way of having fun with kids and encouraging them to develop cognitively, creatively, socially etc. Reading books, taking a walk, making a campfire, going to the Zoo… Tune into your child’s mood and choose those activities that will make your child happy and bring positive emotions into family relations.
- Happy people are better parents. Enjoy a date night, spend a weekend with only your spouse, take breaks, don’t overbook yourself, make time for your friendships, etc. Good parenting includes nurturing yourself and your relationships; kids will do better emotionally, socially and academically if parents are happy and take good care of themselves.
- Stay in touch. Even when you are absent/away from your family, you can stay connected. Call them, send them a message, write an e-mail…Be honest and open about your feelings and let them know how much you miss them, think about them, look forward to be with them again and generally appreciate having them in your life. You may end up surprised how often both kids and adults find it easier to be open and connect through online conversation; they might tell you things they otherwise wouldn’t have the courage to say in person.
- Accept them as they are. Parents love their kids so much and they want the best for them, but good parenting often means to know how to accept your family members’ flaws as well. Instead of seeing only flaws that bother you or make you worried, try to see their good sides too. It’s the art of discovering a healthy balance between situations where you must react and situations where the best solution with the healthiest outcome is to not interfere. If you learn how to acknowledge your child’s personality, they will learn to accept and respect you as a friend instead of perceiving you as an “enemy”. It’s not difficult to remain close and connected when family members love each other, instead of avoiding and resenting each other.
Don’t be discouraged
Good parenting is a skill everyone learns along the way. Don’t get discouraged by mistakes or failures; it takes a lot of strength to recognize and accept one’s bad choices, but mistakes are priceless in teaching us life lessons. Instead of feeling helpless and overwhelmed, choose to react, learn about love, understanding, appreciation, humility, respect, etc. to mistakes and make things better both for yourself and your family.
Stay happy, healthy and enjoy life!