Connecting With Your Child: 3 Deposits to Start Making Into the Relationship Today

The relationship you have with your child will be your true source of power as a parent - time to build that relationship!

          The relationship is where parents can find their true source of power.  Empowered Parents use the relational bank account to keep this relationship fed (want to know more about this account?  Read about it in our new book here).  It acts just like a checking account:  make deposits to increase the balance and manage withdrawals to keep the balance where it needs to be.

          When your relationship balance is high, your children's needs for connection are being met.  They'll feel close to you and you'll feel close to them.  It's time for making regular deposits a top priority.  Becoming an Empowered Parent means moving from a view of parenting being about correction to one that focuses on the power of connection.  To help with that, here are three deposits you can start making today.

Deposit 1:  Do a Task Together

mom and daughter cleaning

          At first, your child may not see this as a deposit, especially if it is something like cleaning a room.  However, doing a daily task together has several benefits.  The first is the time you get to spend with your child.  You can turn tasks into games, such as shooting dirty clothes like basketballs into a basket or throwing socks like a snowball fight when cleaning a room.

          Another benefit you'll provide is teaching your children daily life skills without them even knowing it!  How often do our children want to help us with a task, like the dishes, and we shut them down because we do not want to get water on the floor or make a big mess?  So why is it that down the road we are shocked when we ask for help on a task and they do not want to?  In ways, we shut the door on that long before our child did.  Take the time to work on a task with them, which will foster connection and provide the opportunity to learn life skills!

Deposit 2:  Develop a Ritual for Connection

dad high fiving child

          Children like to express their needs for connection in ways that seem strange to us.  They come up and grab onto our legs while we are talking, pull on our arms and hands, or jump up and down while yelling, “Mommy, daddy!”  The truth is we do not always have to go to great lengths to show connection with our children.  We can find simple ways that make a big difference for the balance of our relationship.  When it is something we can do each day, it becomes a ritual.

          One father I worked with said that he has a special high-five for each of his children.  Only that child knows the high-five, and they can choose when it happens.  This dad reported that once he started implementing this simple daily ritual, he felt a stronger connection to his kids and remembered to keep them a focus throughout his day.  It changed how he looked at his children.

          The challenge is for you to find a simple way to bring a ritual of connection into your relationships with your children. You do not always need to focus on correcting behavior or what is going wrong.  Find a way to give your child attention in a way that is meaningful to them, even if it is as simple as a special high-five or handshake!

Deposit 3:  Daily Time Devoted to the Child

dad and son playing

          When I present daily one-on-one time, I won't lie, I usually hear many excuses for why it can't be done.  When working with parents in classes or therapy, it is not uncommon to get a thousand reasons why a parent doesn't think they can find time out of their day to be one-on-one with their children.  The fact is we need to make it a priority each day.

          It does not need to be hours upon hours.  A few minutes here and there throughout the day are enough to make a strong deposit in the relational bank account.  There is a popular meme on social media that shows a strong, bearded father wearing a tutu and having a tea party with his young daughter.  That is what it means to enter our children’s world.  We engage in the activities they want to do, play the games they want to play, and let them lead the activity.  

          The 7x7 Challenge is one of the best ways I've found to get parents to find the time.  All it asks for is that for 7 minutes a day, 7 days a week, you spend time with your child connecting.  Transforming your relationship is possible, and you'll be more effective in your parenting.  If you want to learn even more about this challenge, check out Creating a Lasting Connection With Your Child.

mom reading creating a lasting connection with your child

            There are an unlimited amount of ways to build the relationship with your children.  Keep the Parent-Child Relational Bank Account in mind as you implement these and other regular deposits into your relationship with your child.  Learn from one another to maximize your deposits.  Be the Empowered Parent who moves from going for correction to one who focuses on creating connection!

Categories: Empowered Parenting