The importance of having a quality parent-child relationship as your son or daughter grows is hugely significant. You, as the parent, serve as your child’s role model, as he or she watches how you interact with people around you, and often repeats your behaviors. A healthy parent-child relationship is crucial to allow your child to grow and develop optimally. Experts point out that healthy relationships even help regulate brain chemicals and function, “which also has a direct impact on child development.” relationship-with-your-child

A strong bond, according to the National Institutes of Health, teaches your child how to manage feelings and behaviors, and to develop self-confidence. They form a “safe base from which they can explore, learn and relate to others.” Because a quality parent-child relationship is so important, in this post we’re sharing three tips on how to strengthen your relationship with your child. For more information about parent-child relationship research, we recommend this article by

Tip #1 Be There for Your Child

No one can be with his or her child 24/7, and we’re not suggesting that’s the goal. But, it is important to be consistently available for your child, letting him or her know how valuable he or she is to you, and how much you care. Remember that your child is always watching you and how you deal with your emotions and cope with problems. When you positively engage, teach your child skills needed to deal with life and allow him or her to share feelings, your child will learn to manage his or her own feelings and follow rules.

Give specific praise for good behavior and recognize when your child completes a task at home. Use “kind words, tones and gestures” when making requests or giving instructions, and spend loving time together each day, perhaps by reading a book or going on a walk together. Participate together in activities and games your child enjoys.

Tip #2 Simply Listen

Throughout a typical day, parents multi-task to get everything done. That’s only natural, and it isn’t healthy for your child to get all of your attention. But, when your child wants to share with you, whenever possible, let him or her know you’re listening. Actively listening. By showing interest, your child learns that he or she can talk to you, now and in the future.

Reserve judgment. Your child may feel deeply about something you don’t see as very important. Validate feelings. You can say something as simple as, “I can see this is tough for you,” which shows respect for what your child is feeling. Also ask followup questions, ones without a short yes/no/okay/fine answer, perhaps “What was the best part of preschool today?”

You can find more information along these lines at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Tip #3 Enjoy Time with Your Child

When you focus on building a positive relationship with your child and enjoying time together, the reality is there is simply less time available for negative interactions with them. If it seems hard to find enough time in a day to relax with your child, here are tips to consider, quoted from

  • let your house be a little less clean
  • give up a volunteer commitment
  • reduce your kids’ scheduled activities
  • hire a teenager to do some housework
  • take a look at the way you and your partner share the parenting load (and fun!)
  • even reduce or alter your working hours

Finally, a blog post from shares 30 specific, practical and doable ways to spend more quality time together as family.