How to Improve Your Relationship with Your Child


On the following pages are some tips for how to improve your relationship with your child.  These tips are arranged developmentally, according to the age of the child.  



1.   Say "I Love You"

§  Expressing your love to your child verbally or non verbally is important at all ages.

2.   Create a positive bed time routine

§  If your child is not behaving as you would like on any given day it is important for you to tell your child that your love is unconditional.

§ As your child gets older you should adjust the ritual so that it is age appropriate.

3.   Ask them for help

§  Many times parents have lots of things to do in a day.   If your child asks to help you, let them do so.  Most of the time they just want to spend time with you and it’s a good way to lighten your mood. 

§  Helping with daily chores or making dinner is something for children of all ages.

§  Simple everyday occurrences can be made into helpful situations, be creative.

4.  Play with your children

§  Being physically active is important not only for your kids, but also for your health.  Playing games outside and being active will help your children enjoy the outdoors.

§  Some examples of games that kids may enjoy: hide and seek, red rover, freeze tag, and make believe.

§  Relax around your kids and don't worry about being the "Adult" all the time. Show your kids that when they grow up they won't lose their sense of humor.

5.   Have a Date

§  Spending time with your child is very important. Make an event out of it and enjoy the one on one time together.  This is an opportunity to find out your child’s likes, thoughts, and beliefs.

§  Let the children have input on the activity that you do.  Some ideas may be going on a walk with your child, seeing a movie, swimming, or going to a local museum.

§  If you have more than one child simply use a day system such as one child on Monday and another on Wednesday, this way everyone gets a chance to spend time with you.


1.   Talking with your preteen or teen can be difficult. Keep in mind that you too were that age once, and be understanding of the things they are going through.

2.   Keeping the lines of communication open is very important in this stage of their lives. They spend most of their time with peers, so it is important that you are there to provide correct information on any subject presented.

3.   Set aside time to speak with your child and ask them about their interests or what their day was like and make sure to be an active listener. Show your child your listening by nodding, repeating important statements and being non judgmental.     

4.   If you want to ask your child a question, don't ask questions that can be answer with a simple yes or no. Ask open-ended questions that require thought and will help the conversation.

5.   Take advantage of every opportunity to talk with your child. For example, standing in line at a store, driving to school, or in the morning while getting dressed, etc.


Helpful Resources


Parent Soup
Practical Parents
Kids Health


Dr. Jeremy Jewell