Patients and Families

Building Loving Relationships

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC offers parents 10 tips to provide more loving and positive relationships with their children.

  1. Children first learn about relationships from their parents. Kids who are loved at home are able to share love and affection with others. Be affectionate with your children. Hugging, holding and kissing them makes them feel secure and teaches them how to show love for others. It also helps you build a nurturing relationship with them.
  2. As your children grow, continue to share your love with them. It is natural for parents to give babies and toddlers a lot of physical attention, but it is also important to be affectionate with your older children. Spending time with them also lets them know you care about them.
  3. Tell your children that you love them. Just as adults like to hear how much they are loved, children also need affirmation that their parents cherish them.
  4. Appreciate the special moments in your daily lives. Think of routine tasks as opportunities to bond with your children. Sitting together while reading books can be a time to feel close with your kids. Let them know you’re interested in them by taking time to look at their school papers or asking about their activities. Share in their excitement as they make new discoveries, explore the outdoors or play in the mud!
  5. Teach your children how to maintain friendships by setting an example in your own adult relationships. Be loving and respectful with your spouse or partner, and your children will learn to act positively toward the important people in their lives.
  6. Listen and talk to your children on a regular basis. Good communication helps relationships grow. Let your children know you care about their feelings, and try to give them your full attention when they talk to you. When you listen to your children, they learn how to listen and to manage their emotions.
  7. Try to spend time together as a family each week. Whether you’re enjoying a Sunday dinner, bike riding, or playing board games at home, have fun together.
  8. Spend some one-on-one time alone with each of your children on a regular basis. Let them know what makes them special to you. Each child is unique, and praising their distinct qualities enhances their sense of self-worth. When children feel valued, they are better able to handle problems and conflicts that come up in their lives.
  9. If you live apart or do not see your children every day, keep in touch with them by phone, email or letters. Let them know they’re an important part of your life.
  10. Set a positive tone when you interact with your kids. Being part of a loving family helps children feel good about themselves and gives them the confidence they need to interact socially with others.

    Be affectionate with your children every day, and you’ll be rewarded by the smiles, hug, and love they’re sure to give you in return! Your relationship with your children will continue to grow, and the bonds between you will last as they mature and start new relationships of their own.

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh offers Positive Parenting classes to teach parents how to build strong, loving relationships with their children. For information, call the Community Education Department at 412-692-7105.

Last Update
September 11, 2008
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Last Update
September 11, 2008
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