How To Build Parent to Child Relationships

“In a study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family Values, 680 married couples were examined for signs of attachment/detachment behaviors within their relationship.  Research showed that many individuals who had depression, anxiety and detachment behaviors had previously experienced detached childhood relationships with their parent(s). This history had a high correlation of depression and frustration between spouses later in life. However, most of those who experienced strong relationships, had experienced closeness as children with their parents.”

The parent and child relationship must not go unnoticed because of how impactful the consequences that relationship has in the future. Sometimes a strong relationship will come naturally between a parent and a child, but other times it takes a lot of work. Below is a list of things that can help you strengthen that relationship.1

Loving Interactions

Your child does not know what you think in your head about them nor what you say to others about them. What your child does know is how you treat them. If each interaction is negative, then eventually your child will not want to be around you. Being warm and kind to your child and making each interaction pleasant and happy will go a long way. This will help your child feel more comfortable around you because they are relaxed knowing that you love them.

Have Boundaries, Rules, and Consequences

Having these three things does not make you a mean parent. How you deliver the rules, boundaries, and consequences is what your  child will remember. Make sure your child clearly knows the rules and the consequences of breaking them. Children respect parents who have rules and follow through with the consequences. See the page, Responsible Discipline, from the American College of Pediatricians for good tips and guidance.

Listen and Empathize

Children need to be understood. Humans feel emotionally connected to those that they open up to and share things with. Be that person for your child. Do not try to force them to do things or fix their problems on their own every time. Most of the time your child  just needs someone to listen to them. See the handout, Parenting your Teen.

Problem Solve Together

Working side by side with your child to figure things out will draw you closer together because of the communication involved in teamwork. 

Tell Them You Love Them

This may be easy to do for some parents and really hard for others. It’s not difficult because those parents do not love their children, but if you were not told ‘I love you’ by your parents growing up, then it can feel really awkward to do it with your children. It is always worth it to tell your child that you love them. This will help your child  express love better as well.

Quality/ Fun Time

Children love to have fun! Some of your children’s fondest childhood memories will likely be the fun memories you make with them. Make sure to play games that they want to play and relax and let go! Don’t be afraid to laugh and be silly with your child. 

Be Available

As a parent you have a responsibility to be the one who nurtures and protects your child. If you are only available at certain times, you may miss the times when your child needs you the most. Pay attention to your child to see when those times arise. Make it a habit to eat together as a family.

Spend Time One-on-One

Time with the whole family is great, but there are great benefits from getting in that one-on-one time. This also may not come naturally for some families, but the more often it happens, the easier it will get and the more comfortable you and your child will be around each other. These times are crucial because it will teach your child how to treat people because of the way you are treating them personally. The way a father treats his daughter on their one-on-one date, will set expectations in the girl’s mind on how her future spouse should treat her. 

The amount of benefits that come from children feeling closeness to their parents is insurmountable. The way a parent treats a child growing up will affect how the child treats others, including their future spouse and children. As a Parent, having a one-on-one connection with your  child will help you both feel more connected and loved, and bring happiness into your lives!










1.Admin. (2018, October 25). Parent-Child Relationship – Why it’s Important. Retrieved from

2.The Importance of Close Parent-Child Relationships. (2017, May 8). Retrieved from child relationship


4 Responses to “How To Build Parent to Child Relationships”

  1. Randolph Matthews March 9, 2020 at 1:15 pm #

    stronger marriages come from kids that have had both quantity and quality time with their kids. In fact, I think it is clear that without quantity time, there is no quality time. I worry about the future when this generation of parents spend more time with their phones than with their children.

  2. Mike March 10, 2020 at 8:41 am #

    Giving one on one time to each child in a family with six children was a challenge but an important one. A friend of mine always stressed the idea that to have simply “quality“ time without ample “quantity“ was a fallacy. We have to give each child a chance to open up (not something that comes easy for some) and this is only possible when given many opportunities to do so.

  3. Mark Grubb March 10, 2020 at 11:30 am #

    Children have good hypocrisy detectors. When spending time with them they can tell if your mind is still at your work. It is becoming increasingly apparent that children in families where mothers stay at home have less anxiety.

  4. Palmetto Rehab April 2, 2020 at 1:10 pm #

    Very interesting. For the child, the family is the main habitat, development and psychological formation. It is in the family, in early childhood, the child learns to cognize the world, comprehends the basic mechanisms of cognition, the foundations of relationships between people. It is in childhood that the basic skills and abilities, psychological qualities of a person’s character are laid, which he only develops throughout his entire subsequent life. The institution of the family is extremely important for the child, since the period of childhood is characterized by partial isolation from society. Parents for a child are the main source of comprehension of human relations, relations of parents and children, relations of parents and the older generation. Good luck!

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