As a parent your child is the most important thing in the World to you so it’s only natural that you want to spend quality time with them. The thing is, it isn’t always easy to know how to connect with your kid.
For instance, if you are a 40 year old woman that loves getting your hair done and he’s a 13 year old boy that loves cars it can be difficult to find common ground. Similarly, if you are a 40 year old man and your daughter is a 13 year old girl who loves getting her hair and makeup done it can be tricky.
How To Connect With Your Kid
Here we have some hints and tips on how to connect with your kid if you’re having trouble:
Find Common Ground
The first step in learning how to connect with your kid is finding some common ground, however small it may be. Try to consider whether there is a sport that you are both into like football, kayaking or running as outdoor activities can be a great way of connecting with your child.
If you can’t think of a sport you might enjoy, try to think about an activity, maybe paintballing, the cinema or doing some arts and crafts. The most important thing is that whatever you decide on you do together.
Think About What They Enjoy
If you can’t think of anything that you will both enjoy, try and go for something that at least they will like. This will create a much better atmosphere for connection than constantly hearing “I’m bored” all day.
Choosing an activity that your kids enjoy is a great way to connect with your kid in a positive way. Think about their favourite hobbies or maybe ask if there is a particular film that they want to go and see or a concert that they would like to go to. Try to put your own interests to one side and purely focus on bonding with your child.
Start A Conversation
Starting a conversation with an aim of connecting with your kid can be difficult. However, there are some things that can help for instance:
- Think about the setting– Although it might seem trivial, picking a setting is a really important part of trying to plan a conversation that will allow you to connect with your child. Try to think of somewhere that they will feel comfortable, this probably means picking somewhere less formal. However, also ensure that it is private enough for them to feel able to open up to you in confidence. The outdoors can be a great place for this.
- Don’t be over dramatic– Over reacting is the worst thing that you can do when learning how to connect with your kid. If you are over dramatic in your responses they are likely to become distant and to stop opening up to you in future meaning that trying to connect with them would have caused more harm than good. Remember to try and use a gentle parenting approach and to show understanding and compassion.
- Don’t go straight in with the big topics– Going into a conversation and discussing the big and important topics straight away can be very intimidating for children. Therefore, try to approach the conversation gently and simply begin by having casual conversation such as discussing something that you have recently watched or a party that you recently attended.
- Think about what is important/interesting to them– There is nothing less effective for connection and communication than boredom. So, if your child is bored the conversation will no longer aid connection. Keep things interesting when looking to connect with your kid. In order to avoid this, try to think about what is important and/or interesting to them, this could be a football team, a celebrity or a television show.
Things To Avoid When Trying To Connect With Your Kid
When trying to improve the overall connection that you have with your kid there are some things that it could be a good idea to try and avoid. Although nobody is perfect and you will never get it spot on there are things that you can try to avoid when learning how to connect with your kids, these include:
- Being Patronising Or Condescending– Being patronising and condescending are two of the most damaging things that a parent can do to their relationship with their child. If you come across as patronising then your child may feel belittled and so stop opening up to you, this further negatively impacting on your relationship with them.
- Lying- None of us are 100% honest 100% of the time and sometimes a white lie to protect your kid is okay. However, if you are continuously lying to your child then this could lead to a lack of trust and further push back your ability to connect with your kid positively. A lack of trust is one of the most common reasons for a lack of connection between parents and their children. If you lie to your children they will start to think that it is okay to lie and hide things from you, this leads to a lack of communication.
- Being Hypocritical- Hypocritical behaviour is something that commonly angers children. It can make them feel that the rules that they are told to live by are not of any importance. This can lead to rule breaking and the results of this can be both dangerous and detrimental. Therefore, it is important that you live by the rules you enforce wherever possible. For instance, if you request that your children do not swear then it is important that you do not swear either as these double standards can create conflict within the family and the household. If you really want to know how to connect with your kid, it is important to be on the same page.
Knowing how to connect with your kid and then putting this into practice can be really difficult, especially if you do not have a lot in common or a strong foundation already built. The most important thing for a connection between a parent and a child to be a successful one is trust.
It is a good idea to try and find some common ground so that you can have more in depth conversations and enjoy more activities in common. Perhaps try to find a sport for a television show that you can both enjoy together.