Giving your child some “special time” helps develop a close relationship with your child. If you can make it a predictable ritual, your child can depend on it — and look forward to this time with you. Be sure that this ” special time” is not easily interrupted by other activities. For example, don’t answer the phone during this time.
Allow your child to help you decide how to spend this time. You could read books, sing songs, go for a walk, play a game — or whatever your child enjoys. The more you are able to spend ―special time‖ with your child the stronger your relationship will be.
Look for opportunities to connect with your child.
I messages are more difficult because they require us to be clear about our own thoughts and feelings. They, however, increase the chances that our message will be heard and decrease the chances that a fight will begin.
“I don’t like all this fighting. It upsets me to see the two of you not getting along.” Rather than ― “What’s wrong with the two of you? You’ are making me crazy! Can’t you ever get along?”
Although setting aside time with your child is important, also look for small moments that you can use to connect with your child. Researchers say that spending frequent, brief amounts of time (as little as 1-2 minutes) involved in child-preferred activities is one of the most powerful things parents can do. You can make up stories together while doing chores, talk about concerns while on the way to the grocery store, read a book together while waiting for dinner to finish. We often think we have to wait for our “special time” but all these small moments help us stay connected in between the more scheduled times.
All families have conflict – it’s a natural part of human relationships. Strong families are able to work through things they disagree about by focusing on the problems, rather than by “tearing each other down.”
This fall, my main squeeze and I are getting married. We’ve been dating for almost four years, and we’ve been engaged for so long people think we are dragging our (probably cold) feet. “What’s the hold up?” our friends ask. “Are you or aren’t you getting married?”
Our hesitation is about the children, of course. My guy lives with his two children in a different county from me and my two children. All four kids are happy in their schools and their communities—not to mention living near their other parents.