Every parent I know wants a great relationship with their child.
Rituals and traditions build close families.
In fact, a strong food culture underpins most strong families I know. It helps if parents have some spine to make sure kids of all ages come to the meal table and participate in other rituals and traditions.
These rituals build wide relationships – that is, they gather the tribe together creating a wide relationship circle.
Individual parent-child relationships need to go deep.
The easiest way to build a deep relationship between you and each child is to spend one-on-one time together.
Go somewhere for a whole day with a child.
Go away for a weekend with just one child. Do things you enjoy.
Camp if possible.
Talk. Cook. Mooch.
These shared experiences can have a magic impact on relationships. They can sometimes lead to vast improvements in children’s behaviour.
Another way to build deep relationships is to have a shared interest with a child. Having something in common whether it’s shared love of sport, books or a hobby, creates individual bond that goes deep.
Deep relationships provide leverage. They also survive the potential storms of adolescence.
Relationships can become stormy and intense during adolescence- with some ages being more amenable to positive relationship-building than others.
Developmentally, it’s easiest to build deep relationships in the opportunity years of latency - five through to ten years of age.
Make it happen
One-on-one time generally needs to be organised.
It generally won’t happen by accident.
It takes time. It takes energy. It takes support mechanisms to make them happen. Most of all it takes permission.
But one-on-one time is so worth the effort.
One-on-one time is the coat hook upon which each of your children will hang their memories of you.
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