By Bethany Pitman
In a world of texting, Tweeting, TikToking, and Instagramming, it can be hard to build authentic relationships. This is the world in which children are growing up. Cultivating relationships with our kids is one of the most important building blocks in a child’s life. Below are some small but impactful ways to build relationships with children of all ages.
- Around the dinner table, each member of the family says their “pits” and “cherries” of the day. Not only does this give parents a glimpse into their child’s day, it also gives parents a chance to open the door and let their child know that they also have highs and lows in their day.
- Be intentional about giving each child independent time with each parent even if it is just for an errand.
- Find a book to read or television show to watch together and talk about it throughout the week.
- Allow your children to have their feelings. Big feelings can make people uncomfortable and can be overwhelming. When kids know their feelings are okay with you, it strengthens their trust in you. (If you would like to explore more resources related to this, @janetlansbury and @mrchazz are helpful Instagram accounts to follow.)
- Each day, schedule at least ten minutes of time with just your child where you play or do whatever the child wants and you are totally engaged with them. By setting a timer, there are no surprises when the time is over, and kids know they will have your undivided attention for a specific amount of time.
- Allow your child to plan one meal a week.
- Allow your child to plan activities on a family vacation.
- Be present for your children when they need you and meet them with empathy first—whether it’s your toddler who just took a fall or your teenager who finds themselves in a sticky situation.
Editor’s note: Want more ideas? Check out CTA’s Real-Life Encouragement for Families items.
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