Building solid relationships by communication with our children is a key aspect in their development. As parents our roles in their lives are not just to protect, feed, and clothe them. We should be their go-to encyclopedia for every aspect of their lives.
From the very beginning of our children’s lives we should be talking to them, and I do mean the beginning. From the time they are in the womb we should begin our relationship with them. Talking to them, singing to them, reading to them, and letting them know what we are thinking. This may or may not be a particularly hard thing for you to do. If you are the type of person that already talks out loud when you mull over things in your mind then this will not be a difficult transition for you. Your children will be comforted in knowing your voice and hearing your thoughts and being a part of your day to day activities even in the womb. This is the beginning of a great relationship with not just mom but both parents.
After your children come into the world you need to keep talking to them. Share with them about everything you are doing. Whether you are cleaning the house, cooking a meal, working in the yard, or whatever activity you are doing it will help them to hear about your activity and even how you feel about it. When you go to the store talk to them about what you need to get as you walk through the store. When you are comparing prices tell them what you are doing and how to do it. You may not think that it will matter but children’s minds are wide open and ready to learn. Even though years from now they will not remember the exact events their minds have the potential to recall pieces of the information when needed. It is not as important what you are talking about, just that you are talking and giving them information. They are building a database in the storage areas of their brains that will benefit them down the line. And just as or even more importantly than building up their brains storage areas with information you as parents are building a solid relationship with them as well.
Use every opportunity that you have to talk to your kids and give them information. Driving along running errands you can tell them where you are going, what you see, and any topic that comes up in your mind along the way. Too many times we use our time in the car as a time to drown out the world with music and very little else gets accomplished. Music is a wonderful thing and it has its benefits but conversation from you to your child is something that will build a strong relationship that will last. And when you are listening to music take the time to tell them about the song and why you like it or the reason why music makes you happy.
Teach your children from the very beginning how important it is to respect other people and to have good manners. It will serve them well in life as they become part of society and in the work environment. I have noticed that very few people have good manners these days and the children are not taught as they should be. Training them how to answer the telephone or the door with the appropriate greeting is so very important. From the time they can talk they need to learn to say thank you and you’re welcome. Teaching them how to converse with visitors will make it easier for them to interact with people as they grow and begin to go out into the world. They should be able to politely say hello and be introduced and respond with an appropriate response. As they get older they should be taught how to carry on polite conversations with adults. This will not only help their conversation skills but it will increase their confidence as well. When a child is taught to converse with manners and interact with children their own age and adults alike they will have a great advantage from the start.
When children are old enough it is advisable to allow them to do small transactions at the grocery or department stores. Give them the money and let them pay for things and communicate with the store personnel. If they do not yet understand money and change, etc. you should let them know if they are going to get back change at the end of the transaction. A child being able to interact like this in public, with parental supervision, will build their confidence in themselves and their abilities.
This brings up another very important matter as well, understanding money and how to correctly make change or knowing if they are receiving the right change back. So many young people, and some older people, do not know how to make change. Most of the time they rely on the computer or cash register to tell them. Many years ago in school we were taught how to make change but I believe this is something that has fallen by the wayside in today’s school system. So often I see people just taking their change and trusting that it is correct. And I have witnessed first hand what happens if the cashier’s computer/cash register is broken and they need to give change. It can be a totally devastating event for both parties involved when it is such a simple thing to learn at an early age.
As you look around in the current events and news of the day so often you see stories of children and parents that have lost touch with one another. Neither the parent nor the child has a clue as to what the other one is thinking and they do not know each other very well at all. Bonding early on with your children is critical for lasting relationships that will strengthen with time and help your relationship through the turbulent tween and teen years when they need the security of your understanding and love.
Talk to your child/children about your feelings, thoughts, and views on day to day life as well as current events. Bring them close as a family on decisions that need to be made in regards to the entire family. Make them part of the day to day financial matters such as saving money and being frugal. Include them in on meal planning, house cleaning, and make them thoughtful of your needs and not just focus on their own needs. We see so often where the children are catered to today but are never taught to give a thought to anyone else in the family or the community. These are all very important for building strong relationships not only within the family but within your community. This is what keeps children safe, secure, and builds solid relationships.
On television so many times we see the commercials that talk about eating family meals together, have family game nights, or family movie nights. As the world moves faster and faster and things are so very rushed and stressful these types of things are more and more important today. Keeping our children with us as much as possible, actively doing things together and communicating, constantly teaching and nurturing them, and demonstrating our love for them in concrete and practical ways will help to ensure that their futures will be successful. As parents we have the opportunity to bond with these young lives and make them successful and secure. When our children grow up in a solid family relationship they thrive. If we miss our opportunity to bond early on with our children we risk not having a healthy adult relationship with them. It can also lead to seeing our children making foolish mistakes that could have been prevented.