Children already recognize their mothers’ heartbeats from the moment their parents conceive them. And even before they were born, they already started recognizing their mothers’ voices inside their mothers’ wombs.
These situations create a connection hence why newborn children calm down and are soothed when they hear the heartbeat or have any physical contact with their mothers, forging a solid relationship between them – surpassing mere somatic attachment.
And this connection is expected to grow as children develop.
As they grow older, children start making sense of the world. They’re allowed to experience the world more independently and make their connections. However, this increases their tendency to drift away from their parents. When this happens, parents commonly start to buckle and find it difficult to connect back with their children.
Communicate with them
One of the most basic ways to forge a connection with children is by communicating with them. Communication is a two-way, mutual street. This means that parents need to both give and receive inputs. They can start by talking to their children about how their day went, sharing their opinions about some issues. This way, their children can learn to open up about theirs, and when they do, parents need to make sure they actively listen to them.
In childhood, children are at their curiosity’s peak. They’re still learning how to navigate the world and are easily influenced by people around them. Their parents must stand as their guide to help and guide them throughout their development.
Be interested in their interests
Spending more time together can help children open up, especially if they have learned to put a wall before them. To see eye to eye with them, parents need to look at things from the children’s perspectives and interact with the world the same way children interact. Consider doing something together.
For instance, author Kishwar Mirza executed this gesture very well. Like any other grandmother, Kishwar wanted to connect with her granddaughter better. So, upon knowing that the latter is interested in reading books, what did Kishwar do? She moved out of her way and wrote a book dedicated to her granddaughter. It takes a lot of effort. But it was worth it how it affected their relationship.
If the child tries to shut the offer down, parents should be discouraged and stop at the first attempt. Consistency and determination are key factors to help parents succeed in this.
Let children understand the world
While it’s beneficial to understand their world, it’s equally essential that parents allow children to understand theirs. If children shut down any opportunity to open up, perhaps parents need to take it upon themselves to take the initiative. Open up first.
By showing children that, as parents, they are willing to share things, children will be encouraged to do the same thing. And by showing their world, parents remind their children how alike they are with each other. This can bring their children closer to them. While parents may not be able to bring their children to their workplace, they can always hang out while working on things at home. Parents can also introduce them to their friends and stand as role models for relationships outside of the family.
Start a hobby together
Having a common denominator with children – something parents and children can equally relate to – can be a vital means of forging a bond. Parents can find something foreign to them and their children, but it should be attractive to all parties involved. Hence, neither will feel as though they’re merely tagging after the other since they’re all inexperienced with the activity. Alongside building a better connection, sharing a hobby will also bring more memories to look back on.
Balance friendship and parenting
Parents have to spend more time with their children, but they need to refrain from being suffocating in doing so. They shouldn’t be too strict when their child spends time with their friends. As children, they also need to create friendships and memories with other children. Therefore, it’s crucial to find and maintain a healthy balance between time for friendship and parenting.
But of course, before they allow them to explore relationships more independently, as a parent, one still has the responsibility to make sure that whoever their child forms bonds with is a good influence. Children need to trust and feel safe about their parents so they can talk about things. But holding them by their neck will achieve the opposite result. Instead, parents should give their children ample freedom to explore and experience the world by themselves.
Lastly, practice healthy reprimanding
One of the possible reasons children withdraw and suppress forming a connection with their parents is the emotional damage they have unconsciously caused. When parents scold their children, they say it’s because they care about them, but their means of doing so says otherwise. Parents should learn how to approach teaching and reprimand their children so that they won’t harm them instead.
The connection between parents and children is essential. After all, besides the children themselves, the parents are among the few people that can guide and help them survive life at its harshest. Parents are the very first people that introduce children to the world. Hence their roles and connection with their children should remain hearty and well.