Building good parent – child relationships

Positive parent-child relationships are important for all areas of children’s development. By being in the moment, spending quality time and showing warmth, care and respect, you can strengthen your relationship with your child.

Good parent-child relationships: why they’re important!

Children’s most important early relationships are with parents and guardians.

Positive parent-child relationships help children learn about the world – whether the world is safe and secure, whether they’re loved, who loves them, what happens when they cry, laugh or make a face, and much more. These relationships affect all areas of children’s development. 

You can build a positive parent-child relationship by:

  • being in the moment with your child
  • spending quality time with your child
  • creating a caring environment of trust and respect.

There’s no formula for getting your parent-child relationship right, and there’ll be times when it’s hard to relate to your child the way you want to. But if you keep working on improving your relationship over time, your child will feel loved and secure.

How being in the moment helps parent-child relationships

Being in the moment is about tuning in and thinking about what’s going on with your child. It shows your child that you care about the things that matter to them, which is the basis for a strong relationship.

Spending ‘quality time’ to build your parent-child relationship

Positive parent-child relationships are built on quality time. Time together is how you get to know about each other’s experiences, thoughts, feelings and changing interests. This is great for your relationship with your child.

Quality time can happen anytime and anywhere, in the middle of ordinary days and situations. It can be a shared laugh when you’re bathing your toddler or a good conversation in the car with your teenage child. When you spend quality time with your child, you’re showing that you value and appreciate them.

The time you spend with your child also makes a difference to how they learn. For example, the time you spend talking with your child in the first three years of life helps them learn language.

Trust, caring and respect in positive parent-child relationships

Trust and respect are essential to a positive parent-child relationship.

Even in the early years with your baby, developing trust and respect is important. Your baby will feel secure when they learn they can trust their primary carers to meet their needs. Trust and respect become more of a two-way street as your child gets older.