Resolve to Strengthen Relationship With Your Child

Posted: January 2, 2013

In the next few days many of us will make New Year’s resolutions. New Year’s resolutions are a great way to help us determine what we want out of life.

They encourage us to think and act differently to make positive changes.

Resolutions often focus on self-improvement issues such as losing weight, quitting smoking, or getting organized. This year why not resolve to strengthen your relationship with your child? Below are a few ideas from Iowa State University.

  • Plan time for family fun. This week is a good time to start since many families are off work and school. Time spent doing fun things together helps build a reserve of good feelings that can help you get through hard times. Let your child help plan family events and outings.
  • Spend one-on-one time alone with your children. Take turns with each child in the family for a special time. It could be going out for breakfast, playing a board game, or going for a walk together. The time you spend together can let your child know you really care.
  • Use driving time to talk. Most parents spend lots of time driving their children to lessons, ball games and other activities. Parents can use this time to find out how their kids’ day went or help their children problem solve if they raise concerns. Children may be more willing to open up while in the car than when they are at home.
  • Notice good behavior. Make praise specific and frequent. Young people learn better from positive actions (encouragement and extra privileges) than from negative ones (punishment or losing privileges).
  • Give a reward. Use special privileges and one-on-one time to reward good behavior. Rewards can include staying up later on the weekend, having a friend over or going to a movie.
  • Wait until you are calm to deal with a problem. Do not discipline your child when you are angry. Discussing a problem when either of you is upset only leads to fighting and additional negative feelings.

Contact Information

Karen Thomas
  • Extension Educator, Food, Families & Health
Phone: 570-963-6842