I always have some fears as a parent, whether I am building a healthy attachment between me and my child. On my own account, I admit that there are some times that my child doesn’t want me maybe because I failed to give him my full attention and oftentimes I just want to give in to his wants and likings just to shut him up whenever he gets cranky or naggy. So I wonder, what is healthy and what is not? And what are the right ways to build a healthy parent-child relationship?
Our relationship with our child determines how they will also build attachment with others. It will serve as their very core foundation on becoming a better individual when they are ready to explore the world on their own.
According to researchers, insecure attachment during the first year of life often is a significant predictor of later difficulties in school, work, marriage and social behavior related to crime or other behavior problems. And we wouldn’t want something like that to happen with our very own child!
We are their role model from the very beginning and during their early years, it is very important that we gain their trust. And with that, I would like to share with you the ways on how to build attachment with your child, here it is,
1. Always have time for your child
Make yourself available to your child and Rule #1: Do not break promises to your child. If you have something that came up unexpectedly from work or how much busy you are, you must make it up to him. I know this is cliché but as parents, we have to do our best in managing our schedules and life to be physically present for our child especially when they need us. They rely on us and come to trust us only if we are present.
2. Be attentive to your child cues
Children and infants know how to express their needs so make sure you pay attention to their needs. It may be a physical need like a bottle of milk due to hunger or social need for toddlers’ for someone to response to them.
3. Bring your child outside for interactive learning and play
You can spend time together by attending play or joining social groups or going to interactive classes together. My son is a quiet type so I usually look for parenting sessions in our community and I like to bring my son with me. This is my way of letting him to socialize with others as well and develop his self-esteem.
4. Provide a quick and consistent response
It is believed that adult responsiveness and encouragement reinforces a child’s actions and behaviors and essential in their development. So when your baby smiles, smile in return, if he wants to be held, cuddle him in your arms. His sound, cries, facial expressions and actions all need responses so he could learn how to interact with the world.
5. When giving responses, express it through a warm, positive and caring way
Make eye contact with your child. Remember, sincerity and loving care will be seen through the eyes so how much more if it will be coming from you right? Be sensitive with the needs of your child and be responsive, in that way, it will return back to you and you will get to understand what he really needs. Smile, sing to him, read him a children’s book or read together, talk to your child, express lots of warmth and touch. 🙂
6. Respond and understand your children that is “in tune” with their cues
We as parents need to respond appropriately to our child’s signals and you are the only one who know your child best so you will get to know what they really want like the levels of their cries when they need a diaper change, or your child’s cry may mean he is hungry, but it also may mean he is tired, sick, etc.
7. Follow your children’s lead on how to play and cooperate
Follow your child’s lead in play or interact, rather than forcing them to follow your own desires for
interaction. Cooperate with your child when they make effort to interact and play like following their lead in smiling, playing peek-a-boo, chasing or tickling, etc. Provide opportunities for interaction, but be careful about forcing a particular activity or interaction. Instead, pay attention to your child’s efforts and “mirror” them, cooperating with them as you play or help them.
8. Do not overstimulate!
Young children often can’t say, “Hey, stop it, I’m tired out!” What they absolutely do is look down or away, avoid you, squirm to get away or turn in a different direction if they feel too much stimulation. Younger infants may fall asleep if they are overstimulated. So better, watch for these signals. Put them down and leave them alone if necessary so they can relax or calm down, or just hold them calmly if they seem overstimulated.
9. Try to rephrase the “NO!”
Sometimes, we as parents, fail to realize we are interfering our child’s desire to explore, we say a lot of “NO’s,” “DO NOT do that.” This can also interfere your child’s effort to express themselves because we try to stop them. And I know you have to agree on me with this when you got a child and when you say NO to them, the more they are eager to do it! So I believe the best way to say is the consequences of what might happen to them if they continue to do it the wrong way rather saying “NO.”
10. Do not spoil your child – too much!
We love to reward our own children right? The best feeling in the world is when you see your child happy and content! But according to research, spoiling creates a “me first” attitude in where the children think they automatically deserve things and have a right to them instead of earning them. It also states that it decreases their boundaries and creates an idea that rules for other people and not themselves. Basically it gives them an “in charge” feeling over everyone including their parents. Reward them with not things or any gadgets but with your TIME, LOVING AND SUPPORTIVE CARE.
So there you go, that’s my list, do you have yours or you want to share please feel free to add in the comments section below.