Building a strong relationship with your children is important regardless of whether they are homeschooled or traditionally schooled. You are the first person your children learn to trust, and with that comes a great level of responsibility. When it comes to building strong relationships, you will likely need to take a unique approach in some facets, due to your children’s unique learning environment. Here are 5 of the most important steps you can take to build a strong relationship with your homeschooled children:
Show Genuine Interest
As a homeschooler, you are already taking a sincere interest in your children’s education and well-being. Ask them questions about themselves, or about their individual interests such as TV shows, movies, music, and more. As your children grow, their curiosity and interests will naturally expand. Seeking to understand what they enjoy will help to grow your relationship.
Maintain open lines of communication with your children. Let them know that they can ask you anything and that you’ll respond in an understanding and respectful manner. While different children may prefer different levels of openness, having the option to come to you in times of need will be very welcome.
Respect Their Schedule
Being mindful of your children’s schedules will encourage trust and mutual understanding. The respect, however, should go both ways, especially as your children grow. In the early years, their schedules are your schedule. A family that can respect each other’s unique ways of going about the day will often share a healthier dynamic than a family that can not.
Encourage Social Interaction
An important aspect of the human experience, no matter a person’s age, is social interaction. Enrolling your children in sports, or encouraging them to pursue social hobbies will help them develop important social skills with their peers.
Be a Role Model
Demonstrate to your children, either through their education, your example, or both, the values of respect, patience, and understanding. Traditionally schooled children are often taught these values at school and through interactions in their class, so it’s important to ensure that your children are on equal footing with others their age. On top of that, children need role models to look up to, and there’s no one better to be a role model for than your own children.
Developing strong relationships with your children is one of the greatest things you can do, not only for your children but for you as well. Healthy families create healthy people, who create healthy societies. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be easy to forget how meaningful a strong relationship with your children can be. However, those who put in the effort to forge and build strong relationships with their children homeschooled, or otherwise, will never regret it.