The Importance of a Positive Parent-Child Relationship

March 10, 2020

Parenting is one of life’s most fulfilling and satisfying endeavors, but balancing your work and personal life with your familial and parental duties can be quite tough. You want the best for your child, and establishing a strong parent-child relationship can lead to better results in various aspects of their life.

A healthy parent-child relationship helps your child learn how to interact with the world around them and allows the parent to learn and see the world from new perspectives. As we age, we lose that childhood wonder and ability to view the world through unjaded eyes. As you continue to love them unconditionally and spend more time together, they help you realize what you have been missing since your own childhood.

Why Do You Need a Positive Parent-Child Relationship?

A positive parent-child relationship is fundamental to having a child’s physical, mental, and emotional development move in a positive direction. Developing a strong relationship with your child helps nurture them as they grow from infancy to adulthood. It underpins their personal development, choices throughout life, social skills, interpersonal relationships, and much more.

How It Impacts Their Relationships With Others

The first relationship that a child has is with their primary caregivers — more often than not, their parents. How that relationship plays out over their formative years will directly affect how they interact with other adults and their peers. Giving your child a positive first relationship helps them become more open to forging new and healthy relationships as they mature and grow. 

As you continue to grow the parent-child relationship, it’s important to remember that this relationship can define how they interact with the world at large. How you approach your child’s emotional and social development lays the foundation for their day-to-day life.

What Are Some Specific Benefits Of A Positive Parent-Child Relationship?

From the moment they are born, forming a positive parent-child relationship is critical for their ongoing development. Since children absorb stimuli from their environment, actively engaged parents help create a nurturing environment where their children develop their cognitive, emotional, and language skills.

Encourage Healthy Development

Your child’s development from the time they’re born to their first day of school is often predicated on their home life and their relationship with their parents. A healthy home life can help encourage the development of a wide range of skills they’ll need to interact with the world at large. Having a positive parent-child relationship promotes better growth in many areas, including physical, mental, emotional, linguistic, and cognitive development in infants.

Forge Strong Attachments 

How easily your child approaches making friends with their peers can be traced back to what kind of relationship they had with their parents. Healthy bonds and attachments help instill a desire to meet new people and forge more friendships. Building new relationships can be more challenging if that initial relationship has a negative connotation. 

Express Emotions in a Healthy Way

When you treat every interaction as an opportunity to connect with your child, you have a new avenue to teach them how to engage with others. Your child soaks up everything you do like a sponge, so your reactions to stressful situations help inform them how to respond in similar circumstances. 

Do you maintain eye contact and acknowledge your child’s feelings? Or are you dismissive? Your response helps influence how they express their emotions. 

Increase Their Confidence

At every stage of life, having confidence in yourself remains crucial to your development. This is especially true for young children looking to make their way in the world. With a positive parent-child relationship to lean back on, your child will feel more confident in life, leading to better opportunities in terms of social life, education, occupation, and many other areas.

How to Strengthen Your Relationship With Your Child

Strengthening your bond with your child is key to providing them a loving and nurturing environment in which to grow up. It can help provide a positive environment where their mental health takes priority from a young age and gives you reasons to spend more quality time with your child. 

Finding healthy ways to strengthen the parent-child relationship early can help later in life as you continue to watch them grow into their own person. Here are some ways to do so:

Set Boundaries and Rules — Then Enforce Them

Set rules and boundaries early on in their lives. Once you have established these rules, discuss them with your child. Having an open line of communication and being transparent about why these specific rules are in place will help establish a healthy and transparent environment. 

Don’t budge on your rules, either — your child needs to know that they will experience consequences if they perform bad actions.

Be Warm and Loving With Your Child

Setting and enforcing rules doesn’t mean being cold in your interactions with your child. Showing love and compassion to your children establishes that actively showing affection and embracing your feelings is healthy at each stage of their life. Every time you interact and spend quality time with them, try to strengthen your relationship. Be warm around your child, always smile, and encourage them to talk and share.


Part of being warm and loving is listening and empathizing with your child, so be a listening ear for them. Actively listening to their needs and opinions helps show them that their opinions matter. These interactions provide an ongoing example of what actively and attentively listening to other people looks like.

Encourage them to share their feelings and reassure them that you understand how they feel. Look them in the eye while talking and be truly present in the moment.

Tips for a Positive Parenting Style

Your parenting style will directly affect how your children will develop as they mature. A warm and positive manner will affect children differently than if you come off as cold and distant. Parenting in a positive fashion can further strengthen your relationship with your child and help for a warmer and more loving home life. Here are some positive parenting tips you can use:

Say “I Love You” Often

Don’t underestimate the power of telling your children that you love them daily. Open communication surrounding how we feel about each other leads to healthy communication now and later in life that influences their future relationships.

Tell your child you love them every day, even though you think it’s obvious. Doing so can significantly strengthen your bond with them. They may shrug the “I love you’s” off as they get older, but it remains a powerful thing to tell them.

Play Together

Playing with your child is critical to ongoing healthy development. Throughout the course of active play, they develop skills in socializing, problem-solving, critical thinking, sharing, being assertive, and more. Learning through play from an early age helps reinforce specific lessons and concepts while simultaneously preparing them for more organized learning and cooperative playtime when they reach school age. 

Additionally, you can strengthen your bond with your child when you play with them. Regular playtime will help develop important social skills in your toddlers. It also reinforces the developing relationship you have with them.

Have Meals Together

Nothing creates a sense of community like sharing a meal, and that extends to your relationships with your children. Meals are a great time to socialize, share things about your day, and foster a healthy environment that encourages open dialogue. When you eat meals with your child, encourage conversation about their days and actively listen to what they say.

For Parents of Multiple Children — Spend Time With Each Child One-On-One

Multiple child households can present unique challenges to parents that they didn’t have with an only child. It can occasionally feel like the children are competing with each other for your undivided attention and create a negative atmosphere in your home. When you have multiple children, you want each one to feel equally loved and valued. Set aside one-on-one time for each of your children — it will strengthen your bond with them and improve their self-esteem.

How Right Steps® Can Help Foster Your Child’s Development

As your children grow and continue to mature, finding ways to create a positive and healthy relationship with them becomes more important than ever. Ensuring they have a healthy relationship with their parents can have a wealth of positive benefits as they continue to mature and develop. 

When you cannot be around them as often as you would like, having a daycare and school environment that places the same level of importance on their ongoing development will help your family in the long run. 

Rights Steps® is here to help. Contact us to learn more about our programs and find the right fit for your family today!

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