8 Ways to Connect and Make Friends with your Kids

The parent-child bond is one of the most unique and beautiful connections between human beings. But the main misconception that negatively affects this bond is the old “the kids love their parents and are connected with them by default”. As I said, this relationship is unique. In the end, the child may love you, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is connected with you.

If you value this connection, and I am most certain you do, you have to devote yourself to establishing and nurturing it. There is no way two human beings can be truly and deeply connected with a bond that they  didn’t devote time, energy, love, honesty and compassion to.

It’s never late to try to connect with your child, and find a way to get closer and form the perfect balance of child-parent activities. Whether you lay your hands on some cheap NBA tickets and spend quality time while watching a game or you spend time in meaningful conversation while playing catch, it doesn’t really matter. But this will take some time though, so be prepared; patience is your greatest ally. Here are the eight ways to connect with your kids.

Work on Self-development

This is one very important thing that you have to do if you want to feel the benefits of an honest parent-child bond. To be able to do this, you have to fight many distractions that are popular in our era, such as spending time on your smartphone, in front of the TV, extra hours of work so that you can afford a better smartphone, or a TV…

Connect to yourself instead. You have to catch up with your self-development because it did actually happen inside of you, even though you were AFK. Start by keeping a journal, and give your best to pet the back of your introspective self.

By recognizing and acknowledging what your kids mean to you, you will start building an authentic connection with them. After you devote some time to staying connected to yourself, you will see soon enough that you are more mentally and physically available for your kids. This will also help you make some commitments.

Regular Attention

Make room in your schedule for special time with your kids. If you have a toddler, this won’t present a problem to you, apart from the fact that you have to make habit out of it and still embrace it as something that’s more than just a habit to you.

I know, you live an incredibly busy life and you don’t have time to devote to your little ones on a regular basis. The time has come for you to face your misconception of time. You have it. Instead of binging on Netflix or scrolling social media feeds, be with your kids!

If you give your kids loving, undivided and warm attention, you will soon notice how special this time has become for you, not just them. Is there some kind of rule in this scenario? Yeah, there is. And its actually quite an important one. Resist the urge to direct, command or suggest. Ask you child what they want to do or just jump into whatever they are doing and follow the child’s lead.

Teach from Your Own Values and Beliefs

One of the easiest ways to connect and make friends with your kids is to help them base their internal compass on yours. How can you do this? By teaching gently and patiently hanging on to the core of your values and beliefs. The very common mistake that parents do is that they confuse patient teaching with passionate teaching. Passionate doesn’t work. Especially with teens and adolescents.

You have to remain calm and do you best to bring the topic closer to your kids. Why do you thinking a certain way? What is your experience? On what logic are you basing this? Be involved in the teaching process from early on and you will deepen the connection between you and your kids even more.

I know that discussing certain topics with your kids can seem controversial at some points, but the kids need to hear this from you because you matter to them. That’s why they’ve come to you for the answers.

Share Your Experience

You are not only a parent, and that’s what the most of the parents forget. You have so many other roles that you have been using to pile up chunks of that life experience. Let me ask you something? How many things do you know about your close friends?

How many of those things do your children know? There are boundaries, of course, as you cannot share everything with your kids. But people quite commonly deprive their kids of the majority of personal stories from their lives.

Kids are very curious. They want to know a lot of things about you. Especially because you are their parent. Tell your kids about everything. Ask them if there is something they want to know. Don’t worry about the subject or whether you’ll know the answers to the questions.

This is not a mid-term! If your kids are younger, you can even make your life experience sound like a story. It will definitely make it more interesting for them to hear it. And they will, surely, remember it. Besides, sharing is a two-way street and don’t expect your children to share if you aren’t doing it.

Go Places Together

Another way to come closer to your kids and build the connection you would like, is to share the same experience. How can you do this? Simply go places together. No, seriously, you would be surprised to know how little parents actually go to various events and visit numerous places with their kids. I know, you don’t have a budget for such activities. This is nothing but another misconception holding you back.

If you’re reading this, you obviously have an internet connection, so use it to scout the situation in your neighborhood and surrounding areas when it comes to fun events. You will be astonished by the number of opportunities local areas have in store for you. These range from cheap NBA tickets, which you can buy to surprise a child, to concerts and indoor ice skating. You will also stumble upon camping, hiking, biking and all other sorts of activities, events and places you and your kids can go to and participate in.

Learn to Value your Kids Opinion

Try to remember how you’ve felt when someone didn’t value your opinion. We are vulnerable when we are expressing our opinions, partially because we identify ourselves with them. This is why not valuing someone’s opinion puts distance between people. You don’t want to repeat this practice with your kids as it will not only pull the two of you further apart from each other, but it may also cause your child to have low self-esteem.

What can you do instead? Well for starters, you can ask questions. For instance, if you are planning activities for your kids, make sure to ask them for their opinion. What do they like and dislike, and why? Once you learn how to value your kids’ opinions you will laugh at their reasoning that comes from inexperience.

Yet it is an honest reasoning that comes from what little experience and previous knowledge they have. You simply have to learn to value it and you will be connected even better.

Take an Interest in What They Like

Everyone is passionate about something, and you will have to discover what your kids are passionate about for yourself. It can be solving the Rubik’s cube, doing tricks with their bike, learning things about cars, and so on. The things kids can be passionate about depend on their age. While you will have to find out by observing with the little ones, you will have to communicate this with teens or undergraduate “kids”.

After you’ve discover what their passion is, you have to dig into it and learn about it. By doing so, you will make sure that have some interesting information and be able to have quality conversations with your kids. Besides, by taking interest in what they like, you will help them understand that you really care about them.

Nature equipped kids with the ability to be responsive to very subtle messages. So, don’t worry, your children will see that you are going the extra mile for them.

Don’t Forget to get Physical

It is important to embrace the fact that we are physical beings too. So, don’t neglect it. There are so many physically sterile parent-kid relationships today, especially when the kids grow older. Don’t be afraid to hug your kids. Nurture this behavior from the very start. Initiate “I am going to catch you” or “Tickling time!” sessions as soon as possible. Hug your kids, kiss them, show them that you love them.

There are case studies that tell us that human touch decreases violence, increases overall well-being, strengthens the immune system and increases trust. So, make sure to sit closer to your child next time and to be ready for lots of hugging, kissing or tickling, and you just might end up visiting your doctor less frequently than usual.

Things couldn’t be simpler, right? All you have to do is a bit of self-development and time prioritization, while remaining honest with your kids and ready to value whatever they are able to offer you at any given point in time. I sincerely hope that some of the tips in this article will help you establish a better connection with your kids.

Nenad Cvetanovic
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Nenad Cvetanovis is a creative writer and blogger at MyCity Web. He has a Master’s degree in Psychology from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Nis, and is currently involved in the Gestalt Therapy Training Program. Apart from being an avid writer of articles concerning psychology, he enjoys writing about IT and HR related topics as well. Nenad’s other passion in life is online gaming, to which he devotes most of his spare time.

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