If you’re a parent, you’re likely spending a lot more time with your children these days, but spending time together isn’t necessarily the same as building a stronger relationship with your kids. Bobbi DePorter from SuperCamp reminds us of the importance of building rapport with your children. Rapport is defined as a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well. Here’s how to build better rapport with your kids right now.
The first step is to open communication. Ask your kid about their day and if you get a two-word reply, say “tell me more.” Listen and give them time to answer. Many kids and adults alike are experiencing uncertainty and fear right now. Dive deeper into this by asking them about the challenges they are facing. A good way to start is by asking them what the worst and best possible outcomes are from a given situation and what they can do to steer themselves towards success.
If your child is struggling with motivation right now, be sure to acknowledge every success no matter how big or small. For many kids at home, learning a new skill, or mastering an online learning topic is a cause for celebration. Lack of motivation often stems from a lack of excitement or general disinterest. Asking your child how they feel is a great way to get an idea of their headspace, but begin to shift their mindset by asking them how they choose to feel? How do you want to use your day and feel while doing it?
Trying to participate in activities normally done with friends or at school while at home can make children feel inadequate or like they are underachieving. If your kids are expressing feelings of failure, remind them that success comes from overcoming failure. Communicate with them about a time you overcame failure to find success.
The key to building rapport is empathizing with your children. Imagine their internal monologue and speak truthfully about your own emotions. Building rapport doesn’t have to be all deep conversations; Remember to have fun. Maybe you play a game or cook a meal together. Provide a nurturing environment with mutual trust where your children feel comfortable and encouraged to communicate honestly with you.
Building rapport with your children doesn’t happen overnight. If you’re feeling disconnected from your kids even while living under the same roof, maybe the interactions you’re having are only brushing the surface of real communication. Take small steps today to strengthen your relationship and you will see genuine relationship building in no time!