Sometimes it can feel like you and your child are on a different planet. Closing the gap and maximising the relationship isn’t difficult—it just requires a little understanding and patience.
A step-by-step guide to relating to your child:
- Listen to what they say—sounds simple right? All a child wants is to feel like their parents care. Keeping the communication lines open will make them feel understood and safe.
- Approach situations without judgement. Try and put yourself in their shoes and show compassion towards their point-of-view to the best of your ability. If they feel like they can come to you invulnerable or emotional moments, it creates a strong bond between parent and child.
- Sharing is caring! If you know what is happening in their lives (without being nosey) and they know what is going on in yours, it closes the generation gap. If you are across their interests and current issues, it shows you are not as out of touch as they might think. Also, sharing with them what is happening in your life makes them feel included and special. However, set a good example and avoid gossiping and rather, lead a mature conversation that appropriately expresses your emotions.
- Ask their opinion. This makes them feel supported and appreciated.
- Make time for them on a daily basis. One-on-one attention is important in making your child feel valued. Make time to check in with them. Also, set aside time to do activities together. Quality time creates memories.