Contrary to popular belief that mother and child share an instinctive connection because they once shared the same body, strengthening a mother and child relationship, just like any other, requires consistent work and effort. Yes, there is an underlying love that binds a mother and child but it is essential to build upon this love with care, compassion, and understanding to nurture a strong mother-child relationship.
A deep mother-child bond not only makes parenting easier but also sets you up for a lifetime of closeness and warmth as a family. Here are some simple but effective ways to strengthen your mother-child relationship and deepening family bonds:
Say ‘I Love You’ Often
Of course, you love your child but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to state the obvious. Tell your child you love them, as frequently as possible, irrespective of their age. Say ‘I love you’ when you drop them off to school or when you tuck them in bed at night or when they wake up in the morning. There’s no wrong time to express your love to your child, not even when you are in the middle of a conflict or an argument. In fact, reiterating that you love them at a time when you don’t particularly appreciate their behaviour is especially important, as it helps them see that you love them unconditionally even if you do not see eye-to-eye on certain issues.
Maintain Physical Connection
Physical connection holds the key to a strong mother and child relationship. That’s why skin-to-skin contact between newborns and mothers is so highly encouraged. Make sure you maintain that connection even after your child grows up. Hug them, tousle their hair, pat their backs, allow them to climb on your lap, or cuddle every now and then. Several studies suggest that parental warmth is vital for a child’s well-being and helps in nurturing family ties.
Play With Your Child
This is one key aspect of parenting that has taken a backseat owing to the hectic lifestyle and mounting professional commitments of both parents. Even if you do not have time to indulge your child in an extended play session every day, try to make up for it during the weekends or take out a few minutes from your day to just get goofy and silly with your child. Be it modelling some play dough or pretend play or board games, being involved in activities that your child loves is a great way to strengthen your relationship with them.
Involve Your Children in Household Chores
Children look at adult lives with a lot of awe and aspiration and involving them in different ‘adult’ tasks or household chores is a great opportunity for strengthening the mother-child relationship. Asking your child to help in unloading the groceries or laying out the dinner table or carrying empty dishes back to the kitchen or seeking their opinions on choice of colour for a dress or shoes gives them a great sense of fulfilment and power that helps them connect to you even more closely.
Eat Meals Together
You’ve probably heard this before, ‘a family that eats together, stays together’. Even if you can’t manage to eat every single meal of the day together, make it a point to share at least one. Turn off the TV, put aside your smartphones, and focus on the conversation. Ask your child about their day and tell them about yours, talk about topics that your child can feel involved in and lend them a patient ear if they have something to say. Eventually, they’ll look forward to these meal times and sharing of stories. It is this habit that will stand you in good stead when your child enters their teen years.
Make them a Priority
With so much going on in a mother’s life at any given point of time, this may sound easier said than done. However, try to make an effort to leave aside your stresses and commitments every once in a while to just enjoy your child and these fleeting precious childhood days. When you prioritise your child over everything else, they’ll know, and that goes a long way in building a strong mother and child relationship.
Children who feel strongly connected to their mothers are likely to grow up into emotionally balanced adults. A healthy mother and child relationship also increases the likelihood of children sharing their teen and adult life troubles with their parents. It serves as the foundation of strong familial ties in more ways than one.