Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Building Relationships

Research shows that people with strong healthy relationships tend to be the happiest people.
The same goes for kids too of course. When we are giving and receiving affection and love we are
at our happiest. Sharing warmth with family, friends and schoolmates gives kids positive feelings.

How to Teach Relationship Ski"s
• Praise and acknowledge your child as often as you can. They respond warmly and feel good about themselves and relating with you.
• Create opportunities for your kids to be with lots of other people. At first the family circle with
grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins, all having fun together is a great learning
• Help them learn to share and have fun together with other children. Invite other children over;
not too many at a time, and play with the children. They learn relating behaviors from you.
Make it lots of fun.
• Discuss things with the children – they will learn to relate to one another this way. Ask for their
suggestions and comments.
• In public teach by example to always say thank you and to tell people that you appreciate what
they do for you. Kids pretty soon adopt this, and apart from being polite anyway, well
mannered children get more positive feedback from others this way.
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• A sense of belonging in any group is a strong relationship need children have – belonging in our
family, belonging in a team, belonging with a group of friends at school. Healthy family
interaction with acknowledgement of all the members, no matter how young, teaches our kids
acceptable relating strategies. They learn to get on well with others.
• Enrich your life through others. Make friends feel welcome in your home, and expose your
children to people you like, thus demonstrating the strength you receive from others.
• Teach your children to be gracious when they lose as well as when they win. Learning to handle
both success and defeat is an important life skill that begins in childhood.
• When you treat your child with love, respect and encouragement, they repeat this with the
people they come in contact with.
• Demonstrate the importance of helping others to encourage thoughtfulness. Children raised in
this environment become thoughtful and caring adults.
• Your child models your actions. When you obviously enjoy yourself with others, and have fun
relating to them, your children learn to do likewise.
Kids with great relationships are happy kids. Healthy social and peer group relationships can also
reduce stress, increase feelings of security, and generate other positive emotions, all of which are
conducive to happiness. They won’t be as vulnerable to enticements from popular culture to feel
important or popular. When children feel connected and have good relationships they are less
likely to be looking for attention and acceptance, with anti-social behavior.

Some Fun Activities to Help Build Relationships
 Organize a family reunion and get your kids to work with you
 Make a Family Tree together – this promotes a sense of belonging
 Practice a concert and invite rellies and friends
 Bake cookies to take to some friends
 Tell old family yarns – grandparents might help
 Say “I love you” to each other
 Write a family story of an outing or holiday together
 Organize a street party
 Make a family photo collage with photos of lots of events together
 Teach your kids to always write a thank you note or card to friends and relatives

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