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.


cyberbullying pic

Cyberbullying is a form of bullying or harassment using electronic means. Cyberbullying is also known as online bullying. It has become increasingly common, especially among teenagers. Cyberbullying is when someone bullies or harasses others on the internet, particularly on social media sites. Harmful bullying behaviour can include posting rumours, threats, sexual remarks, a someones personal information, or pejorative labels (i.e. hate speech). Bullying or harassment can be identified by repeated behaviour and an intent to harm. Victims may experience lower self-esteem, increased suicidal ideation, and a variety of negative emotional responses, including being scared, frustrated, angry, and depressed.

To learn more about Cyberbullying and what you can do, check out the following resources.


A Parent’s Guide to Cyberbullying


Parent Tip Sheet – Common Sense on Cyberbullying For High School Students

Preventing Cyberbullying

Responding Cyberbullying

Kind AND Firm Boundaries in Parenting

Kindness without firmness can lead to permissive parenting and firmness without kindness can lead to punitive parenting.


The importance is on AND and starts with validating feelings. Offer a choice whenever possible.

“I know you do not want to brush your teeth and we can do it together.”

“You want to keep playing and it is time to clean up. I will help, l can do the blocks or books. You decide.”

“I love you and the answer is no.”


There are many tools that fall under the kind AND firm

concept of parenting.

  1. Validate Feelings
  2. Show Understanding
  3. Distraction and Redirection
  4. Follow Through on an Earlier Agreement
  5. Provide a Choice


In the following weeks we will have blogs related to those Positive Parenting Tools that you can use in your parenting education work, parenting or even with your colleagues.

3 Bs and Sibling Conflict

Many parents experience their children arguing, fighting and in conflict at various times. While this behaviour is common, there are heart strings that are pulled and tensions begin to raise.

We may start to pick sides, or demand “what did you do to your sister/brother”. While we as parents, may feel we know who started the fight, may never know what happened. There are many factors that occur that we will never know about.

I can think of a time when our then 18 month old sat in the hallway screaming her head off and I came flying out of my bedroom ready to correct my older child. However, my older child was contently playing in his bedroom. WHAT?!?! You mean the 18 month old is able to set up a situation for me to assume what happened? This was a huge AH-HA parenting moment. There is so much that happens that we are not aware of, miss, or just over see.

Therefore, I want to share with you the 3 B’s in Positive Parenting. These are from Dr. Jane Nelson’s Positive Discipline Parenting Way.

When our children are fighting there are 3 B’s we can keep in mind and decide to use while keeping ourselves and children safe:

1. Beat It: The parents make sure the children see them
and then leaves the room.
2. Bear It: The parent stays and observes, but does not
get involved.
3. Boot ’em Out: The parent removes all the children
from the environment while treating them the same.
“Kids if you want to fight, and you need to do it outside”
“Kids you can go to separate rooms until you are ready
to stop fighting”
“Kids, I have faith in you to figure this out”

Bonus Parenting Tool Tips:
-Be mindful to treat the older and younger children the
same. This may prevent the victim and bully
-Use a “Positive Time Out” area as needed to promote
-Use “Wheel of Choice” before the fighting starts

Are your KIDS fighting?

Do your children argue with each other? Are you running short on temper and tools?

As parents we can create an environment of cooperation that promotes the value of differences (in ideas, opinions and solutions), encourages individuality, focuses on solutions and includes mutual respect and dignity.

How to start creating an environment of cooperation TODAY:

-Encouraging Individuality
-Valuing Difference
-Involving children in Age Appropriate Tasks
-Focusing on Solutions

Children feel encouraged when the parents understands and respects their view:

1. Express understanding of child’s point of view and feelings
2. Show empathy without condoning challenging behaviour
3. Share a time you have felt similar (if appropriate)
4. Share your thoughts and feelings. Children often
listen after they feel listened to
5. Focus on solutions

Positive Parenting Tool Tips:
-Give up power struggles
-Focus on how you can win with children
-This tool is effective when used with other Positive
Parenting Tools
-Connection BEFORE Correction

**This information is written by Parenting Education Saskatchewan while based on Positive Discipline Parenting from the Positive Discipline Association**