Three Keys to Build a Close Relationship with Children - the Clearest Example Illustration

For some new parents, how to educate children without compromising intimacy can be a challenge. Therefore, is there a key to understanding the child's heart? 


Premises of Closer Relationship with Children

Let your child trust you and establish a good parent-child bond. If the parent-child bond is bad, parenting will be ineffective. No matter how good the parents' starting point is, no matter how clever the methods they use are useless. Let's try to think: If a child doesn't trust his parents and doesn't feel that his parents love him, why should he change? In fact, for children, especially young children, the biggest driving force for them to change is the hope of getting the love of their parents.


A girl in blue semantic holding a magnifying glass

3 Keys Open Child's Inner World

To understand children, Cossy's "key" is to understand their psychological needs. All people, including children, have three basic psychological needs: belonging, autonomy, and competence. Think of them as the "keys" that open their inner world.


  1. Belonging: Children feel loved, respected and accepted.
  1. Autonomy: Children feel that their behavior can be determined by themselves.
  1. Competence: Childrenfeel that they can do it. For example, "I can draw gouache", "I can roller-skate", "I can build a Lego building with a partner", etc.


Renowned psychologists Deci and Ryan argue that: 


If the three basic psychological needs are not met, children will show various behavioral problems.

If the three basic psychological needs are met, it will promote the transformation of children from extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation and feel well-being.


In other words, if the corresponding psychological needs are met, the child's behavioral problems will improve.


For instance, a child who gives up on themselves often lacks a sense of competence. What to do at this time is to encourage him to take small step by steps; brothers and sisters are often fighting for the love of their parents, and they must focus on how to satisfy their sense of belonging.


Some specific situations need to be considered comprehensively, and these three psychological needs of children may be involved at the same time.


Here's an example:


It's time for bed, but the child is still focusing on the toys and refusing to go to sleep. The parents said, "Stop right away, otherwise Ill confiscate the toys" It is conceivable that the child will be unhappy. In this case, the child may temporarily stop playing for fear of punishment. Under the threat of punishment, children are extrinsically motivated to obey even temporarily.


Try saying it this way:


"Baby, do you really want to continue playing?" (First, follow his focus, follow his thoughts at this time. At least parent deeply understands and accepts the childs intentions at this time.)


"But its late today, you can play another five minutes." (It also sets limits. The child's feelings, emotions, and thoughts are all acceptable and do not imply approval of the child's behavior.)


After 5 minutes, you can squat down (Reflecting respect and equality), look the child in the eyes and say, "The toy also needs to go home to sleep at night. Let's wake it up tomorrow morning, okay?" This shows that you agree with there is nothing wrong with playing with toys, but the time is not right. But if tomorrow morning, you are happy to play with your child with toys.


This response method takes into account the three basic psychological needs of children. In this example, we can see that there is no contradiction between fully accepting children and keeping children disciplined. Conversely, acceptance of children promotes discipline. At this time, children's compliance with discipline is more internalized, which will promote them to gradually turn into self-discipline.


Giving children a good sense of belonging, is a very important and basic part of parenting. It will make children more daring to explore, make them feel more valuable, and be more willing to improve themselves. Without this part, education will be ineffective. Therefore, accepting children, enhancing parent-child bonding, and setting boundaries can help cultivate children to keep discipline, and then gradually cultivate children's self-discipline.