As Singaporean parents, it is not uncommon to find ourselves spending little quality time with our children, distracted by work and household affairs. Even when we get the chance to connect with our growing children, half of that time is spent fighting for their attention, as they stay glued to their mobile devices. This doesn’t mean that a healthy parent-child relationship is impossible! Here are three tips to help you forge an unbreakable bond with your child both on- and offline.
Speak Their Lingo
You might cringe at abbreviations like “IDK” (I don’t know), “IKR” (I know right) and “LOL” (laugh out loud), but adopting your child’s lingo can actually help to converse with them more easily. It gives you a better understanding of what your child finds interesting and current for future conversation topics and when used in moderation, it also makes you appear more relatable and approachable.
Give Them Space
Are you guilty of confiscating your child’s phone on the weekends? Or worse, do you insist that they let you read their text messages? Intrusive parenting styles often breed resentment in children and lead to a communication shutdown.
Rather than intrude on every aspect of your child’s life, carve out some quality time every week to catch up with them without any parenting agendas. Put your phones away so that there are no distractions and just talk! Communicating regularly will foster a greater bond between parent and child. This way, your child will feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and life with you so there is no need to spy on them.
Get to Know Their Friends
It is normal for children, especially teenagers, to want to spend most of their time with friends. Instead of making your child choose between parent and friend, get to know their pals by throwing a casual pizza party or barbecue.
Alternatively, leverage your child’s social media platforms to gain invaluable insight into their life and the crowd that they hang out with. Once you are comfortable with your child’s group of friends, chances are that they will be more willing to share tales of their social life and time with you.
Learn more about planning ahead for your child’s future.