Tips to build respectful connections between parents and children

Every parent aims at building and strengthening their relationship with their children as a relationship in which a child respects, trusts and feels comfortable in the company of its parents, enables the child to learn and develop holistically. Extensive research shows that we cannot influence a child in a positive way until and unless we create a respectful and strong connection with them.

Often parents wonder how to build respectful connection with their children aka creating a warm “connection before correction”. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Tulika Mukherjee, Psychologist at PeakMind, shared a few tips that will help nurture respectful bonds between parents and children:

● Be present. At times, just pause and feel the moment. Tune into yourself and your child’s relationship and find ways to create a respectful environment.

● Listen and empathize. Validate your child’s feelings so that they feel connected to you. We all do feel connected the moment we feel understood and cared for.

● Have dedicated special family time. What better than letting your child know that you want to spend time with them. Helps in creating long lasting connections.

● Model respectful communication and bond.

● Show your love through warm hugs, appreciation and acknowledgement.

Rahul Subramaniam, Co-Founder of Athena Education, suggested, “We strongly encourage parents to actively have more dinner table conversations with their young adults—sharing instances from their professional lives, and discussing the ups and downs they’ve been through. Parents may also nurture a greater sense of ownership and independence in their children by illustrating that everything takes hard work. Some effective methods to do so is insisting on a monthly budget, allotting regular chores around the house, and so on.”

According to Dr Pukhraj Bafna, Practicing paediatrician and member of Clirnet Community, parents need to be authoritative rather than authoritarian. He advised, “They should neither be permissive nor neglectful. Parents have to treat children as equals, they have gone friendly. Parents should practice what they do in preschool. They should listen to children without judgment or criticism.”

Asserting that children should be appreciated for their positive qualities and achievements, he recommended, “Give them individual attention. Spend quality time with them, at least one meal with them. Give unconditioned love to them. Include your children in family activities. Do not scold or insult them in front of their friends or relatives. Do not compare your child with others. Meet his or her friends with their parents, and invite them. Do not quarrel in front of your children. Good communication is the foundation of good parenting. Respect their feelings and emotions.”

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