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Our Favourite Ways to Maintain a Strong Relationship with your Kids

Tinies Relationship Special: Your relationship with your kids is one of the most special and important relationships you can have. From the day you take them home, they are yours to take care of and to help them grow into the person they will become

 

Infancy

Babies are cute and cuddly and totally helpless. While adorable, most parents will acknowledge that they are totally at the mercy of their tiny master. The first year can be challenging with lack of sleep being one of the more prominent features. And poo, lots of poo. But we forgive all when they are babies, because they don't know any better and they are so darn cute.

Turns out, we humans may even be hardwired to find babies cute. Further to that, one study found an evolutionary link between the cuteness of babies and caregiving by adults. So we just can't help it.

Your relationship with your toddlerToddler

As a toddler, your child moves from the 'pet rock' stage of just kind of hanging around wherever you put them, to being continuously on the move. More and more personality is revealed - are they docile, or in most cases, cheeky and mischievous? They will start letting you know what they like and don't; usually they like biscuits and don't like Brussels sprouts, but at times they will amaze you. You are still the absolute centre of their universe at this point, well after themselves, and it's a really nice time for you to bond.

Pre-schooler and school age

This is really when you start to see the person your child is becoming. And the perfect time to start helping them continue on the path to becoming who they are. Always lead by example, kids are constantly watching, listening and learning - even if you think they're not. If they see you as a kind person who only says nice things about other people (including yourself) they very often take these traits on themselves.

Kids at this age are all about fun. Just go with it. Try to drop the "adult" persona every now and then, and just be a kid with them. See who can make the silliest face. In the middle of kitchen clean up, declare 'dance break', put on a favourite tune and dance it out for no reason.

Your relationship with your tweenTween

Things have changed in the last few years, tweens formerly known as pre-teens, are more like their teen-aged counterparts rather than then their younger selves. Keeping your relationship positive now can help alleviate some of the tension that may arise as the hormones kick in and they become full-on teens.

Listen to them, take them seriously, and let them know that you respect their thoughts and opinions.

Teen

Take the tweens and kick it up a notch. It's often said this is the most difficult time in parenting. You need to step back, yet stay involved. Hopefully your relationship at this point is filled with enough love and trust that you both can do this. Our sister company My Family Care has a series of articles on parenting teens, that might shed some light:

As with any relationship, communication is key. Be ready to talk to your teenager whenever they are prepared to talk. Try to ask questions without prying, meet their friends and be as present in their life as possible without being a nuisance.

Twenty and beyond

As they are adults, now is the time to give them space and respect their opinions. But as they will never stop being your child, never stop being their parent. Perhaps this is the time to wait for them to ask advice before volunteering it. You'll probably find they will ask more often than not. Plus now you get to communicate more as peers. It's okay to have a glass of wine on a sunny day with your adult child.

Top Tips:

  1. Think about your childhood, what did your parents do that you liked and made you feel good? Can you continue those things?
  2. What didn't you like about what your parents did, what can you do differently?
  3. Avoid telling them they are "special" or better than anyone else. Never compare them to other children, either good or bad. Just that you love them is enough.
  4. Never send them to sleep being angry at them - or at least don't let them know.
  5. Make sure they know that even if they do something naughty, let them know that you still love them.
  6. Praise them when they do something good, especially if it's something nice for someone else.
  7. Leave them sweet little love notes in unexpected places.
  8. Save the cards you send them somewhere special so they can look them over when they're older. Likewise, keep the ones they send you.
  9. Show them you love them in non-material ways.
  10. Make sure you tell your kids that you love them - every day.

No matter what age, children need their parents' love and support. You don't need to constantly flatter your child or bow to their whims, but telling them you love them unconditionally will always be good for the both of you.

Further information

Your relationship with your older children
 
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