Philosopher George Santayana said that the family is one of nature's masterpieces. And it is true that the family, in all its forms (we can also consider our friends or our colleagues family), and the bond that is built with it day after day is very important for children. Secure attachment is key to their physical and emotional development, since reinforcing family ties increases children's confidence and security in themselves, among other things.
To learn more about the importance of working on family ties, we have spoken with Silvia Álava, a doctor in psychology, who has given us some advice on how to strengthen family relationships.
Strong family ties, based on respect and love, are the pillars of both physical and emotional development of children. Therefore, we must work and build the bond with our children from their first second of life. It is the best way for them to feel that they have our support, sustenance and love to grow and develop in freedom.
When family ties have achieved create a secure attachment, children feel capable of achieving anything they set their mind to. Our love for them tells them that we will be by their side when they win, but also when they lose or when they fall. This security reinforces their self-esteem and self-confidence.
Children will feel more secure to explore their environment, to satisfy their curiosity, to have concerns, to build illusions and to achieve their dreams and desires.
Strengthening family ties within our home is tremendously positive because it also:
- Helps reduce children's stress levels
When we give hugs and affection to children, we are able to increase the production of oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. This causes cortisol (the stress hormone) to plummet. Therefore, children (and also adults) feel comforted.
- The child knows the world from affectivity
As stated in the article for the journal Tendencies Pedagogiques de Moya, Sierra, del Valle and Carrasco of the National University of Distance Education ('Effects of secure attachment and psychosocial risk in internalized and externalized childhood problems'), thanks to In affective interaction, the child internalizes how he must interpret the environment around him and even how he must interpret himself. The little one knows the world from that affective bond that we have built, which has clear consequences for their current and future emotional development.
- Work on emotional management with children
But, in addition, if we have managed to build a positive emotional relationship, children will feel much more open to talk about how they feel. Thanks to the bond of security of the parents and the emotional education, the children feel more comfortable and they will share with us their feelings and concerns. All of this will allow us parents to work on their emotional development.
- When faced with a problem, children will go to their parents
When we manage to build a relationship based on trust with our children, we become the support they will turn to when a problem arises that they cannot solve. In this way, we can guide you to find the best solution.
- Children have better social skills
Empathy, loyalty, and love are some of the values that children who grow up in secure attachment develop. In addition, it has been proven that these little ones tend to have better social skills.
- Less risk of depression
Even the aforementioned study recognizes that when we establish solid family ties, children are safer and have less chance of developing symptoms related to depression.
We already know the importance of children growing up with strong family ties. But how can we work them? Here are some ideas.
Kisses, caresses, hugs, looks ... All these gestures of affection help us to strengthen the bond with our children. However, we must also bear in mind that we can never force our children to kiss or hug us. We must respect the spaces and times of each one.
- Spending quality time with the children
On a daily basis, it is sometimes difficult to find moments of tranquility that we can dedicate to being with our children and enjoying each other's company. However, these moments are very important, as they help us to forge an emotional relationship. Spending quality time with children means 'being present' when we are with them, that is, looking at them and enjoying their company (without simultaneously watching television or checking the mobile from time to time, for example).
- Share games with children
Play plays an essential role in children's development, as it is part of their daily learning. But, in addition, it is a fun moment that we can share with our children. Board games, cards, construction, dolls, cars ... There are many possibilities!
- Read a story together
Establishing the habit of reading a bedtime story together is very positive. In the first place, because we are loving children to read, but also because we share a very tender moment all together and we end the day in the best way.
- Cooking as a family
What if we spend some time as a family while we cook? It is a very fun activity and, in addition, it can help us to transmit healthy eating habits to the little ones in the house.
- Video calls with relatives who are far away
It may happen that we have to be away from grandparents and other people we love. It may be due to an illness that forces them to stay at home without having contact with other people, they may live far from us, they may be traveling for a long time ... How can we strengthen family ties from a distance? With phone calls or, if possible, with video calls!
Sometimes, it is as simple as telling ourselves what we have done throughout the day to keep up with the lives of other people's children. But, did you know that very fun games can be organized through these virtual family gatherings? We can play mime, riddles, tell jokes, play naval battle ...
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