Positive parent-child relationships are important for all areas of children’s development. By being in the moment, spending quality time and showing warmth, care and respect, you can strengthen your relationship with your child.Positive relationships between parents and children: why they're important
Children learn and develop best when they have strong, loving, positive relationships with parents and other carers.
That's because positive relationships with parents and carers help children learn about the world – whether the world is safe and secure, whether they're loved, who loves them, what happens when they cry, laugh or make a face, and much more.
You can build a positive relationship with your child by:
There's no formula for getting your parent-child relationship right. But if your relationship with your child is built on warm, loving and responsive interactions most of the time, your child will feel loved, safe and secure.
Being in the moment: why it's good for parent-child relationships
Being in the moment is about tuning in and thinking about what's going on with your child. It shows your child that you care about the things that matter to them, which is the basis for a strong relationship.
Here are ideas for being in the moment with your child:
Part of being in the moment with your child is giving your child opportunities to take the lead. For example:
Repeating or rephrasing your child's words, smiling and making eye contact tells your child you're paying attention when you're talking or spending time together. These expressions of warmth and interest help your child feel secure and build confidence.
‘Quality time’: why it's important in positive relationships
Positive relationships between you and your child are built on quality time. Time together is how you get to know about each other's experiences, thoughts, feelings and changing interests. This shows that you value and appreciate your child, which is great for your relationship.
Quality time can happen anytime and anywhere, in the middle of ordinary days and situations. It can be a laugh when you're bathing your toddler or a conversation in the car on the way to basketball with your teenage child. These moments give you the chance to communicate positive messages with smiles, laughter, eye contact, hugs and gentle touches.
You can make the most of time together by minimising disruptions and distractions. This can be as easy as putting away your phone or work. It helps your child know that you're keen to spend uninterrupted time with them.
There might be times in your family life when it's not possible to have a lot of time with your child every day. But planning some regular one-on-one time with your child can help you make the time count.
Your child learns and develops through spending time and interacting with you and other carers. For example, the time you spend
talking with your child in the first 3 years of life helps your child learn language.
Trust and respect: how to nurture it in positive relationships
Trust and respect are essential to a positive parent-child relationship.
In the early years with your baby, developing trust is important. Your baby will feel secure when they learn they can trust you and other main carers to meet their needs. This sense of safety and security gives your child confidence to explore the world.
Trust and respect become more mutual as your child gets older.
You can nurture trust and respect in your relationship. For example:
Video: Bonding In this video, parents share their experience of bonding with their newborns, and how the connections may not be instant for some of them.