Part 2: Strong family relationships build self esteem

gardening with dadBy Eric Putnam –

Strong family relationships empower parenting by building your child’s self-esteem, motivating your child to listen and learn from you, and helping you to allow your child to make mistakes and learn from them.

The best way to encourage parent/child bonding is by spending time together.

What is One-On-One Time?

–  Scheduled personal time with your child

–  Ritualized parent/child interaction

–  Bonding time

–  Relationship building

–  Self-esteem building

One-On-One Time is all about SHOWING unconditional love and acceptance.

Why should you do it?

Studies show that it decreases your child’s risk for future problems such as:

–       Behavior problems

–       Academic problems

–       Drug and alcohol abuse

–       High-risk sexual behavior


Children are more willing to listen and seek guidance from parents that they feel care about them.

How do you do it?

–       Commit

–       Be in the moment

–       Listen

–       Summarize


Commitment should be the driving force behind One-On-One Time. Children quickly learn to look forward to their private time with you. Don’t commit to something you can’t do.  Commit to a specific day and time.  Post it on a calendar and remind your child that it is coming.  Commit to it weekly if you can or at least every other week.

One-On-One Time does not have to be that long in duration.  If commitment is difficult, try 15 minutes a week.

Be in the Moment

Be a follower.  Being a follower is not easy.  I may feel a little awkward at first but it gets easier with practice.  Avoid teaching, correcting, and even asking too many questions.

Let your child take the lead and give lots of positive attention (use Catch ‘Em Being Good & Know Your Talents handouts).

Remember, this moment is all about them.


Listen to what they are saying and feeling.

Respond by repeating back to them what they are saying and feeling.  Check in with them if you are not sure by asking, “Are you saying…?” or “Did I get it right?”

With toddlers, just be their shadow and enjoy each new experience they discover.


Always end with a positive summary of your One-On-One Time experience.  Try saying something like, “I really and fun with you today” and “Let’s do this again!”  Next month we will discover tools to strengthen the whole family including mom and dad.

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  2. Barkha Dhar says

    As a mother I can vouch for your post being very practical and incredible in relating to children proactively and not reactively. Your suggestions are like behavioral tools that could help parents in mentoring their children and not managing their lives. Thank you for sharing this insightful post. You may like to visit
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  3. Brenda Freeman says

    As a mother of 3 adult children, I can really relate to this article. Time for each child is so important, and also time together as a family. When my children were growing up, we always had our evening meals together around our kitchen table. We found that we could all share what we did during the day, which really opened up our communications. Now that my children are adults (all over 22 years of age), my husband and I are still included in their conversations and activities. I am sure this started from spending time together when they were younger.

  4. k c says

    Thanks – I have read many descriptions that explain the different between confidence and self-esteem, and this is my absolute favorite!Self Esteem Affirmations

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