How to build emotional connections and maintain positive relationships with children?

By Prapoorna M

Last Updated: November 26, 2021

It is a fact that infants need much attention, care and warmth of love. But once they start growing up, running around, making mess, throwing things and making the parents scream all the time, you would think, “Ah!! Parenting is actually tough.” You might also wonder, “Are these devils that are running here in kids form?” Ha-ha, there’s no wonder; your parents might have also thought so.

Children are the ones with full of energy and enthusiasm. Being a parent, you can enjoy being with them only when you give your time and have enough patience to handle them. But sometimes you would be wondering if you are giving them too much priority or lenience or if you are keeping them in too much control.

Be Connected

Get connected with your children to be a good parent. If you feel that you are pampering too much or being too harsh, just watch yourself and your connections with them. Or If you spend enough time with them, then you can find their annoyance getting reduced. If you can listen to them by shutting off technology, like putting your phone aside and muting your TV while talking and listening to them, the actions they do to divert your attention would eventually disappear. Children do need some time to be with you and you too need that for building that connection between you both.

Cuddle up

Be with them and snuggle up every morning when they wake up and every night before them going to bed. Cuddle in between when you go out or come from outside, or to appreciate when they finish their homework, when they keep their shelf clean and when they eat whatever served without whining.

Cuddling releases oxytocin which is a stress reducer and bond creator. You may also do things like tousling hair, rubbing the shoulders, patting their backs, kissing on cheeks when you appreciate. Looking straight into the eyes and smiling is also an expression of love and affection that children acknowledge. Cuddling improves that emotional connection between parents and children making their bond even stronger.

When such emotional connect is well established, children tend to do and behave as per the likes of their parents. They would love to receive more care and affection from their parents by behaving how you want them to be. This is a way of communicating your likes and dislikes to them. With this kind of interaction, there won’t be the need to shout on kids.

Stop Screaming

A Father scolding his daughter
A Father scolding his daughter

When your child is growing up, like some 8-10yrs, you should be highly considerate that you stop screaming at them very often. A parent, who can talk or communicate well, is the one who can connect well with the emotions of the children. When you are connected with their emotions, they tend to listen and understand everything you say.

This means, you need not scream at all. And, when parents talk to them rather than screaming irrationally, they tend to listen and understand what the parent is actually saying. But shouting at the top of your voice and yelling at them creates an impression in them that you are never a person, they can lean on. Such a thought could make them feel lonelier and they stop sharing anything with you. This creates a great emotional gap between parents
and children, especially when they enter the teenage, the age when parental guidance is most needed. Higher cases of anxieties, depression, substance abuse and suicidal tendencies occur in this age group because of loneliness and withdrawal from parents and close friends.

Teen Parenting

Teen parenting is a more responsible task and being a parent, you need to tweak your parenting skills a bit. You should behave as a friend, guide and parent at the same time. Tweens (10-12yrs) would be undergoing a lot of changes and hence would become moody. It is the transition time between a child and becoming a teenager. They would be undergoing a lot of hormonal disturbances because of which they seem withdrawn sometimes while too attached sometimes.
No doubt that your tween or teen will test your limits, your patience, could suddenly become an introvert and leave you in dismay. They won’t admit that they need you and won’t usually open up about their problems. But it’s true that they need you. You need to listen to them asking how their day was and know what’s going on in their life. Parents or one of the parents who is really close to the child should keep in mind that it is their responsibility to know, understand and support their child regarding all the emotional ups and downs they go through in their everyday life.

Tweens and teens are usually inclined to open up at night times, when they are about to sleep. Hormonal surges and the changes in their physical appearances, their societal relationships etc. could cause depression, stress, anxiety, loneliness and other mental illness in them, that could be treated well with the help of a professional. Whenever you observe sudden changes in their behaviors, educational interests, habits, choice of friends and other changes in day-to-day activities, please try to consult an expert psychologist for some professional advice in a scientific way.

Find Ways

Well, you might be wondering how to connect emotionally with the kid when they always stay with drawn or give single word answers though we try communicating? Now this is where you need to work on. Focus on your child’s hobbies and interests even when you know nothing about those activities. Ask them to talk about them and to explain you. Try to learn something new from them and wonder how much their interest made them explore new things.

Let your children face pain, trouble, disappointment and failure. Over-protecting them and keeping them away from realities make them too weak to face the real world. They tend to escape from the realities around them into some dreamy land. This leads to more disappointment and distress. All the negatives come into their life, when they are brought up without knowing the taste of failure and difficulties. Don’t worry because you will be there now to comfort them and support them. But in case they face something bigger from the outer world, it would be a great blow for them and they might never be able to fight back. So, let them rise on their own. But, be a support pillar for them.
In case you find your child doing drug abuse, smoking or drinking, never encourage them. Be strict on discouraging, but never compare with your childhood days, saying, “After all, such habits will go away once they grow up” or “It is the age for them to enjoy” or something like, “It’s just fun. I know he won’t get addicted. He’s my boy and he knows the limits.” No way, you never know what they might end up in. Apart from these things, there is internet in their hands which hooks them to whatever they want.

Tips to improve your relationship with your kid:

Besides their hormones, the technology also encourages them to try new habits for fun, while online marketing people already caught hold of your teenagers’ tastes and choices to provide them with more offers. Online marketing has been a new addiction for the teenagers, while screen addiction is emerging to be a huge problem in today’s youth, draining their creative side and thinking capabilities. Be aware that your children follow strict screen timings.

  • Find out new ways to engage your kids in different activities and help them lead a healthy life.
  • Encourage them to have new hobbies and real friends.
  • Promote outside playing and being real players.
  • Restrain yourself from gadgets and set an example for them
  • Have a talk with them at least for one hour with each kid daily
  • Encourage them to spend more time in nature observing & protecting it
  • See that they do regular exercise and avoid gadgets during such time
  • Make it a point to encourage them reading a book before going to bed
  • Avoid watching TV or tab or smart phone before the hour of their sleep.
  • Limit their screen time strictly and confiscate their gadgets if they don’t heed to

It is your responsibility to keep up your family core values and communicate them through your words and actions. The influence that you create being a parent, runs deeper through your actions and words than you think. Please make sure that you convey them somehow and make them understand that they can always come home whenever they are in some emotional need. If you feel like you might need some help from a professional expert, in this regard, book an appointment with one of our counselors who are well-trained in handling parenting issues.

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