Strengthening the Parent-Child Bond: Essential Strategies for Building a Lasting Connection with Your Tween

parent-child bond

Building a strong and healthy parent-child bond is a lifelong journey that requires love, patience, and effort. It’s about fostering a positive and nurturing bond with your child by employing underlying fundamental principles. In this article, we will explore the key elements contributing to a strong parent-child relationship, including open communication, mutual respect, active involvement, and the importance of self-care. Understanding and implementing these principles can create cherished memories, strengthen trust, and support your child’s growth.

A proverb says, “Train up a child in the way they should go, and when they’re old, they will not depart from it” That is what our Parents’ Learning to Treasure is all about. Your Tweens (ages 9-12) are more receptive to learning from you. 

The Power of Early Parent-Child Bonding: Lessons from Kolawole’s Story

I came across this story of these young children who went through some parental challenges at a tender age, the story was pathetic, but there were many lessons to learn from this account of one of them – Kolawole.

“Kolawole attended Kings College in Lagos and graduated in the ’90s. Many of their parents had no clue how some were already drunk by 10 am in school or how they smoked a pack of Benson and Hedges per day at the age of 15. Their parent had no clue how they scaled fences from their Victoria Island campus to bar beach in the mornings to smoke weed and visit prostitutes at Lekki beach, literally waking the prostitute up to lay with them.

Kolawole smoked weed once at 16 for the first time when a classmate named Danjuma took him and his colleagues to bar beach and introduced them to it. That day was Kolawole’s last time by some stroke of luck or his mother’s prayers.

For some weird reason, Kolawole despised the uncontrolled actions of his friends after he returned to school and vowed not to be like them. He did not smoke weed; they claimed that was why he was so calm. Kolawole declined the following day’s invitation. 

Danjuma never finished school. Abu is dead. John did not have anything to show for his life. Chibuzor, who had a privileged life, is roaming the streets of the Island with mental health. It all started in 1994, 29 years after, and it’s amazing how naive some parents are. The drugs have since evolved, and the peer pressure and influence remain. 

Kolawole learnt from a psychologist that the significant work of parenting is done by the time the child is 13 years old, even though they only become confident enough to show their true character much later. We need to be extra vigilant and engage our children like never before, not in arguments but from a place of knowledge about the repercussions of specific actions.

You can make sure to equip them enough to answer any question friends may ask in a bid to sway them or bend them to do their bidding. And after we have done all, we must pray for them too. It’s a tough time to be a parent, but it was never easy in the first place.”

I can corroborate this story through my job as a Careers Coach with Teenagers; I have always wished we would introduce the concept of career as a means to enjoy adulthood as early as possible to a child. If you are not enjoying your career, share your lessons and tell them how they could avoid such pitfalls as yours. If you have a great career, sharing your stories and your peers who got it wrong will be inspiring.

The Importance of Patience, Understanding, and Consistent Effort in Parent-Child Bonding

Between childhood and adolescence, the tween years can be a challenging and crucial period in a child’s development. As parents, caregivers, and educators, it is essential to recognise that nurturing tweenies requires a unique approach. Patience, understanding, and consistent effort become paramount during this transformative phase. Let’s delve into the significance of these qualities and explore how they contribute to the well-being and growth of tweenies:

  1. Patience: Children constantly learn and grow and may make mistakes or exhibit challenging behaviours. Forbearance allows you to remain calm and composed, understanding that growth takes time. It enables you to respond to your child’s needs with understanding and empathy rather than reacting impulsively.
  2. Understanding: Each child is unique, with their temperament, strengths, and challenges. Understanding your child’s individuality helps you tailor your approach to their needs. It involves recognising and empathising with their emotions, thoughts, and experiences, fostering a deeper connection and trust between you and your child.
  3. Consistent effort: Building a solid parent-child relationship requires ongoing effort and consistency. It involves being present and actively involved in your child’s life, even during busy or challenging times. Consistency helps children feel secure and understand the boundaries and expectations you have for them. It also shows them they can rely on you and strengthens your bond.

You create an environment that promotes your child’s well-being, growth, and development by practising patience, understanding, and consistent effort. It also helps them develop essential life skills, such as resilience, self-regulation, and positive communication. Building a strong parent-child relationship is an evolving journey, and your investment effort is invaluable for your child’s overall development and happiness.

Building Parent-Child Bond: A Guide to Connecting with Your Tween

Bonding with your tween children is crucial for building a strong and healthy parent-child relationship. Children undergo significant physical, emotional, and social changes during the tween years (typically between 9 to 12). 

The tween years can be a challenging phase for both children and parents. As your child navigates the transition between childhood and adolescence, it becomes crucial to strengthen the parent-child bond. Building a solid connection during this period fosters trust and understanding and lays the foundation for a healthy parent-child relationship throughout their teenage years and beyond. This article presents a comprehensive guide to help you bond with your tween and nurture a deeper connection. Here are some tips to help you bond with your tween children:

  1. Spend quality time together: Allocate dedicated time to engage in activities you enjoy, involving going for walks, playing sports, watching movies, cooking together, or pursuing shared hobbies. The key is to be present and actively engaged during these activities.
  2. Listen actively: Tweens often have a lot to say and appreciate when their parents listen to them. Practice active listening by maintaining eye contact, nodding, and asking follow-up questions. Show genuine interest in their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
  3. Create a safe and open environment: Foster an environment where your children feel comfortable expressing themselves without fear of judgment. Encourage open and honest communication, and be supportive and understanding when they share their thoughts or concerns.
  4. Engage in their interests: Show interest in your tween’s hobbies, activities, and passions. Whether it’s music, books, video games, or sports, please try to understand and engage in discussions about their interests. You can even participate together in these activities when appropriate.
  5. Establish family traditions: Create special rituals or traditions your family can enjoy together. It could be a weekly game night, cooking a favourite meal together, or taking regular family outings. These traditions can provide a sense of belonging and strengthen family bonds.
  6. Respect their independence: Tweens crave autonomy and independence. Give them opportunities to make choices and decisions within safe boundaries. Allow them to take on more responsibility, such as managing their schedules or contributing to family decisions, and This shows that you trust and respect their growing maturity.
  7. Support their friendships: Encourage your Tween to spend time with friends and engage in social activities. Foster positive relationships with their friends by inviting them over or organising outings; this helps you understand their social circle and strengthens your bond by showing an interest in their friendships.
  8. Be a role model: Your behaviour and actions influence your children. Be a positive role model by demonstrating values like kindness, empathy, respect, and responsibility. Show them how to handle challenges and conflicts healthily and constructively.
  9. Celebrate their achievements: Recognise and celebrate your tween’s accomplishments, big or small. Praise their efforts, offer encouragement, and acknowledge their progress. Celebrating milestones and achievements helps foster a sense of pride and strengthens your bond.

In conclusion, bonding with your tween children is a vital aspect of parenting that sets the stage for a strong and healthy relationship. You can create a nurturing environment that fosters trust, communication, and understanding by prioritising quality time, active listening, respect for their independence, shared interests, and support. Remember to be patient, understanding, and consistent in your efforts, as building a solid bond is an ongoing journey that requires time and dedication.

Through your actions and positive role modelling, you can guide your tween towards developing important life skills and values while creating cherished memories and a lifelong connection.


What should I do if my tween resists bonding activities?

Respect their boundaries and give them space when needed, but continue to show your support and interest. Look for alternative activities or opportunities that align with their current interests.

How can I find common interests with my tween?

Take an active interest in their passions and explore opportunities to participate together. It could involve attending events, watching movies or TV shows, or even learning a new hobby together.

What if my tween is going through a difficult phase or exhibiting challenging behaviours?

Approach challenging behaviours with empathy and understanding. Maintain open lines of communication, and if necessary, seek professional help or counselling if you feel your child is struggling with significant emotional or behavioural issues.

How can I balance respecting their independence while maintaining parental guidance?

It involves finding a balance between granting them autonomy and providing guidance. Set clear boundaries and expectations, encourage open communication, and be available to offer guidance when needed.

How can I ensure a strong bond with my tween when I have a busy schedule?

Look for opportunities to engage in activities together, even if they are brief or sporadically. Make the most of everyday moments like mealtime or bedtime to connect and have meaningful conversations. Find a balance between work and family commitments, and communicate openly with your child about your availability and commitments.

Can bonding activities also involve the whole family

Absolutely! Including the whole family in bonding activities can strengthen the parent-child bond while fostering a sense of unity and connection within the family. Plan outings, game nights, or vacations where everyone can participate and enjoy each other’s company.

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Sam Soyombo
Sam Soyombo

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I'm Sam Soyombo, your passionate Career Coach. I am dedicated to guiding you towards a fulfilling career path. My expertise empowers individuals like you to make informed decisions and achieve their professional goals.

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