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bonding with a child when it's difficult - a stepmom walking with her stepchild on a country road

Bonding With A Child When It’s Difficult

The emotional bond between a parent and child is probably one of the strongest in the world. However, there are times when a parent and child just don’t seem to be on the same page.

In some cases, this is because a parent has been in and out of a child’s life. In others, a bond is harder to forge because a child has a mental or emotional disability.

What can parents do to forge closer ties with their kids?

Be Patient

You won’t be able to establish a close relationship with someone overnight. What you can do is to always be there for your child. Also to act like someone who always has his or her best interests at heart.

If you haven’t been in the child’s life long, it could take months or years to gain his or her trust. The time frame may be even longer if you have an older child or teenager.

Ultimately, it will be the child’s decision as to whether a strong relationship will develop and when it happens.

Make Yourself Available

It’s difficult to be close to someone you don’t see on a regular basis.

Parents should understand the things they don’t consider important could be the things preventing a relationship from forming.

For instance, your son or daughter may be upset you don’t go to their soccer games or dance recitals. If you miss birthday parties or aren’t there to play catch with, you could be missing out on the little moments that can make or break a relationship between a parent and child.

Fortunately, making yourself available to your kids doesn’t mean abandoning your work or social life. Instead, it could mean being there to read a story at bedtime or being around for dinner out on a Friday night.

Even if you can’t be around in person, responding to text messages or holding Skype sessions on a regular basis can keep the lines of communication open.

Plan a Vacation

Sometimes, a change of scenery is necessary to start building a relationship. Booking a holiday, like at a Utah ski resort or a similar place, gives you and your child a few days or weeks to do nothing but have fun and spend time together.

Taking a child on a private trip may make your son or daughter feel like you do care and you consider him or her to be a special person in your life. It may also be a good time for you and your older or teen child to clear the air about any misconceptions that made making a bond harder.

The positive memories formed on this trip may provide the basis for a better relationship and a stronger bond moving forward.

Get the Child Professional Help

There may be some unknown issue preventing your child from wanting to spend time with or talk to you. As children grow older it’s natural for them to display an independent side. However, they should still show some interest in wanting to be near you.

A child who is suffering from depression may be withdrawn from everything in their lives. Getting to the root of the problem may start to bring out a child’s natural personality.

As a parent, you may feel bad you and your child aren’t as close as you would like. However, spending more time talking to your child or being there for your son or daughter may all that’s needed to start fixing the problem.

If necessary, don’t be afraid to hire a therapist. A therapist may be able to open the lines of communication and start the healing process.

About The Author

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and full-time mother from Sacramento, CA. Her two boys keep her very busy, and they are her inspiration for much of her writing. Her favorite subjects to write about are family and business.

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