Creative Child

Restoring Your Relationship with Your Child

by Rebecca Eanes

Positive parenting rests upon the foundation of connected relationships. However, relationships are never perfect because, of course, the people in the relationship are not perfect. As a result, sometimes our relationships get strained. Disconnects are a normal part of human relationships. They happen for all sorts of reasons. Perhaps we haven’t been intentional at maintaining the connection through our distractions and busy schedule, or maybe we slipped up and yelled or was harsh. Maybe the relationship is strained due to a recent disciplinary action. While correction is necessary in raising children, one should always come out on the other side feeling worthy and good. Bad choices don’t make them bad kids, and children need to believe that we see them in a positive light despite their mistakes. Whatever the reason we find ourselves disconnected from our child, we should seek to repair it as soon as possible.

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Here are seven ways to reconnect with your child and restore your relationship:

1. Tune in completely to your child. Ask if there is anything your child needs to say and listen with an open heart. An open line of communication is important in reconnection, so be sure to practice active listening and respond with empathy and compassion. You can start with “I want to talk to you about what happened earlier,” or “I realize I’ve been really distracted lately, and I wanted to apologize.”

 

2. Take responsibility for your words and actions. If you feel that you were too harsh or unfair or have made a mistake, go ahead and apologize to your child for your behavior. This models to them what it looks like to take ownership of your actions and to express regret for them, and it will often soften their hearts toward you which makes reconnection easier.

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3. Play. This is a wonderful way to reconnect with young children. Spend some time immersed in your child’s world, letting him lead. If your child is older, you can reconnect by doing anything that allows you to spend some time laughing and having fun together. A few ideas are board games, movies, video games, bowling, skating, dinner out, and hiking.

 

4. Write a love note. Written word has a way of working its way to our hearts. That’s why we love books and poetry so much! Write the contents of your heart out on a piece of paper and leave it on your child’s pillow.

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