If you want to maintain a close relationship with your children and improve their behavior, the following suggestions may be very important for you to consider. With younger children, the power of play time is amazing. With older kids, the ways in which you interact so that you both enjoy the interaction can help promote a healthy bond between the two of you. The whole idea is to be present and focus your attention solely on the relationship and your interaction with your child. Parents have reported that they have been amazed at the improvements in their children’s behavior after consistently adding quality time together into their family lives. In addition, you will feel better protecting necessary time for yourself if you feel secure in your relationship with your child. There is really nothing that adds to these feelings more than one-on-one, quality time together. Additionally, by investing in a good relationship with your children when they are young, you are building a bond between you that can really help with the chaotic teenage years that remain ahead.
Some helpful points:
Spend at least twenty to thirty minutes two times a week with each child age six or younger individually. During these times which you play with your children, let them choose the activity. It may be helpful for you to give them choices as to what they may want to do. Let them feel like they are the boss. These playtimes can work miracles with you and your children.
Spend at least one hour a month with your other children individually. Most children over the age of six years old prefer interactive activities. Let them choose what they want to do. For example, your son may want to play a game, while your daughter may ask to do a dance together. The whole idea is to play together doing something you all enjoy.
Your child needs your undivided attention during the time that you are spending together. Undivided attention means ignoring the doorbell and the phone. The world around you will just have to wait.
Be present. It is so easy to daydream about other things you may have to get done the following day while you pretend to give your child your attention. They know if you are faking it. In addition, it really is good for you to relax your brain, let go of the “to do” list, and enjoy the one of a kind qualities of your child.
Keep it enjoyable, flexible and simple. The goal is to have fun together. Quality time means one on one uninterrupted time together that you both enjoy. Change things up a little bit. Go see a play together, or try roller skating, having a picnic, or going out for ice cream.
It is so easy to throw all of the children together however; your child’s self-esteem will thrive, as will your relationship
Source: Simpson, B. (2006). The Balanced Mom.