Ways parents and adults can rebuild connection with kids, teens, older children
There have been dynamic evolutions in the expectations and way of life, especially for today’s youngsters. Here are some expert tips for parents and other adults to rebuild a broken connection with children
Many people make the mistake of talking down to their kids or forcing their opinion on them, which is the least desirable approach to making a strong connection. You must prioritise if you want to build a strong bond with your ward or rebuild a broken connection and you must possess an enormous amount of patience, grace, love and kindness.
When any relationship needs to be kept alive it needs to remain active as all dormant relationships are generally dead. Just as things around us have changed, we need to change and adapt to the new ways of living, existing and accepting, given that there have been dynamic evolutions in the expectations and way of life, especially for today’s youngsters.
Whether we contribute this to the exposure of the world through the Internet, academics, peers or books, it has become the truth and the faster we adapt to it, the better will be our connection with our youngsters. Rigidity, stuck mindsets, and strict discipline snaps or ruins the bond between the parent and the child.
So, is it wrong to discipline the child? Surely, we are not badly grown adults, so why can the same set of rules not apply to the Gen-Next? Answering the same in an interview with HT Lifestyle, Jagriti Kajaria, Founder of Rudra and Empowerment Coach, shared, “The first most important point is to just remember yourself at that age and check how it felt when you were corrected. The next aspect is to keep yourself well informed about the way the global influences are affecting the child.”
She added, “Just because one is a parent, it does not always make them right nor give them the right to command due respect. Earning the respect goes a long way than just getting it because one deserves it. Parents need to focus and take responsibility for their part in the situation without adding ifs or buts. It’s alright to not be the super moms or dads. Be okay to show your weaknesses, inabilities or impatience and never let your ego stop you from saying sorry.”
Advising that promises or agreements reached must be honoured and respected, Jagriti Kajaria suggested, “Make healthy boundaries and never overstep unless asked for. It’s never ever too late. Let not the trunk of this tree of your relationship not become so stiff and hard that it cannot bend. The use of emotional armour to keep you from getting close should be avoided at all times. Just simply focus on kids' individuality and privacy, be consistent, avoid general statements, mould your trust in them and build up room for forgiveness. Respond and not react from anger, hate, or mistrust. Know that your stretched arms and open doors of the heart will rebuild the bonds slowly but surely.”
Sheetal Shaparia, Life Coach, Astrologer and Tasseographer, asserted, “Relationships are the foundation of all socio-emotional development of children. After all, everyone wants to be loved and felt as if they are a priority to others. Therefore, parents and other adults find ways to rebuild a broken connection with children.” She recommended:
1) Be honest and open with your kids - This is key to establishing trust and building a strong relationship.
2) Patience - If you want your kids to open up to you, patience and kindness is the way to do it. As kids grow, they undergo many changes, and they cease being candid as they were once.
3) Listen - Everyone wants to be listened to, and kids are no less. It is discouraging when you don’t pay enough attention or importance to what they want to share as an elder.
4) Spend time - More time spent with your kid pursuing what you both are interested in equals a bigger impact relationship. When you actively do activities together, you are not just bonding more deeply but creating lasting memories.
5) Stop pushing your thoughts and opinions at them - Many parents have agendas and want their ward to pursue certain things. You might know better, but you are not them, and their interests and emotions are not yours. Therefore, hold your reservations and talk things through with them.
6) Allow your kids to express themselves - If you want your kid to be strong, independent individual who arrives at a decision and conclusion on their own, you must allow them to have a voice. Make them feel comfortable and their thoughts meaningful. This is one of the fastest ways to gain your child’s trust.
Having a hawk’s eye, friendly communication and a forgiving heart are the best ingredients for this relationship. This will allow your child to feel free to come to you in difficult situations rather than being misguided or develop difficult irreversible habits and mindsets.