086: 3 Easy Ways to Build Life-Long Bonds with Your Children

Are you looking for ways to connect with your child? Do you want to develop a rock-solid, life-long relationship? 


I have a really unique and special relationship with my Dad. Partly this is because my Mom passed away when I was 19, and my Dad has stepped into the role of planning the weddings and helping after babies. 


However, I truly think even if my Mom were still living, I would have a strong, special bond with my Dad. And that’s because of the things my Dad did while we were growing up that built a solid relationship.


Today, I want to pay tribute to my Dad and share with you three things he did that helped forge the strong bonds that we have today.


The best part is that these ideas aren’t complicated or time-consuming! My Dad worked a lot when I was growing up – he still does! These three takeaways are more about intentional awareness than elaborate schemes. 


3 Ways To Connect with Your Child and Build Life-Long Bonds:  


1. Play with them! 

I’m not talking about sitting on the ground for house playing legos or dolls. I’m not that kind of mom! And my dad wasn’t that kind of dad, either. I’m talking about having playful interactions with your kids in your day-to-day banter. Find ways to connect with your child each day that create memories. This can look like rituals around bedtime or meals. It can look like dance parties or funny nicknames. It really can be simple! You just have to be on the lookout for opportunities to be playful. As often as you can, and in ways that fit your personality, have light-hearted interactions that show how much you enjoy your kids. 


2. Talk with them!

Notice this takeaway says “with them” not “at them.” A key way to connect with your child is to talk with them! Have conversations. Schedule times to connect. My Dad used the first Sunday of every month to do interviews with us. When we were teenagers, we groaned a bit, but he persisted and jokingly dubbed the interviews “torture.” Having these regular times where I could talk with my Dad, and not have him lecture me, made a huge difference in our long-term relationship. Because of these interviews, when I needed help, I sought his advice. And even as an adult, I turn to him. He always stayed calm, never freaked out, and he made himself approachable. For more advice on how to do this, check out the interview I did with Brooke Romney called “How to Talk with Your Teens Instead of At Them.” 


3. Feel with them! 

It can be so easy to go into fix-it mode when our kids have big emotions. It’s also easy to downplay their experiences because we have a broader life perspective. However, fixing things, telling them it will be fine, or sermonizing are not ways to connect with your child. My Dad is so good with this. When my younger sister didn’t get into Stanford, he left work early and made a hand-drawn sign that said, “Standford Sucks.” He sat with my sister while they ate ice cream and commiserated. He’s been there for us through all of the hard things we’ve faced from losing our Mom, to infertility challenges, to faith struggles… he’s sat with us through all of it. Feel with your child! This truly is a foundational way to build a life-long bond with them. 


I hope you’ve found these takeaways from my Dad helpful! I’m cheering you on as you work to build life-long bonds with your child. It’s worth the effort! You’ve got this! 


Save this summary of how to connect with your child to Pinterest so you can use it later! 👇


3 in 30 Podcast with Rachel Nielson, on How to Connect with your Child
Infographic depicting 3 Ways to Connect with Your Child
















>>>What did you think of these takeaways on how to connect with your child? What tips do you have for building life-long bonds? Share below! 




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5 thoughts on “086: 3 Easy Ways to Build Life-Long Bonds with Your Children”

  1. Audrey Gleason (Heather Ridge Ward Denver)

    I LOVE listening to your Podcasts, Rachel! The next generation will greatly benefit from your wisdom, honesty, experience, spirituality, and compassion. Thanks for sharing! Your parents and grandparents are AMAZING ❤️

    1. Rachel Nielson

      Oh thank you! These personal ones are a true piece of my heart. It means the world to me that you listen!

  2. Pingback: 263: Intentional Grandparenting (and How It Can Bless Kids!) // Richard and Linda Eyre - 3 in 30 Podcast for Moms

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