Child-Parent relationships are the foundation for a child’s personality, life choices, and overall behavior. Furthermore, healthy relationships and attachment strengthen the social, physical, mental, and emotional health of children. Especially in babies and infants, brain development is dependent upon loving bonds or attachment. So a good child-parent relationship and attachment isn’t just recommended, it’s necessary.
Some of the benefits of healthy child-parent relationships and attachment include:
- Healthy social, emotional, cognitive and motivational development.
- Better social and academic skills.
- Exhibition of optimistic and confident social behaviors.
- Better regulation of emotions.
- A higher chance for children to develop happy and content relationships with others.
So, the question you must be thinking is “How do I form a healthy attachment with my child?”. Well, it’s simple. Here are some things that might seem small to you but could mean the world to your child.
- Don’t forget to tell your child that you love them. Make sure to not only express this when your child is well-behaved. When your child behaves badly, make it clear, you love them but not their bad behavior. Love is best done unconditionally.
- Be available. We all have a lot going on, between raising our children, work, and a million other things. So, don’t forget to make time and be available for your child. Put down the phone or turn off the TV and dedicate at least 10 distraction-free minutes to your child a day.
- Listen and empathize. A huge part of your connection with your child comes from listening to them. Listen attentively and respond accordingly. Always try to put yourself in your child’s shoes. This will help foster mutual respect and empathy in them as well.
- Play together. Play time is so much more than playing to children. Children learn a wide array of skills through play (i.e. imagination, creativity, problem-solving, social and language skills, etc.). So not only will you be developing a good child-parent relationship but teaching your child invaluable skills as well.
- Family meal time. Meal time is great family time. It is a great opportunity to connect and converse about the day. Try making your meals “technology-free”, and enjoy each other’s company.
- One-on-one time. This is especially important if you have more than one child. Spend individual time with them. Ask them what they would like to do and take an interest whether it be a mani pedi, their favorite sport, or a trip to the park. If you only have one child, it is still important for your child to have “mommy and me” and “daddy and me” time”. While spending time as an entire family is great, this provides the opportunity for you connect deeper with your child.
Use Storybook as a tool to connect your child as well. Our stories not only teach invaluable skills such as emotional intelligence and deep breathing, but provide structured one-on-one time with your little one. While we recommend minimum 3 5-minute sessions weekly, more couldn’t hurt. To be honest, it’s hard to limit sessions with my daughter to just one story. It’s always hard to say “no” to that face.