How to build a solid relationship with your child

Cara Natterson, MD Pediatrician and Author, shares advice for parents on the best way to build a close, open, and lasting relationship with your child
How To Build A Solid Relationship With Your Child
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How to build a solid relationship with your child

Building a good relationship with your child should start when your child is young. If you haven't started quite yet, it's never too late, but my advice is as soon as your child can talk, start talking to your child. The best thing a parent can do is get all technology devices out of the room when you're talking to your kid. Because if your phone is there and you're texting and you're e-mailing what you're saying to your child is that there are other people that are as important as you are if not more important than you are. So remove all the devices and talk to your kid eye to eye, face to face. Of course if it's a sensitive issue, I think you should be looking straight ahead not looking at your kid in the eye because it's more comfortable for your child. But generally your goal is to say to your kid, " You're important to me" and that starts when they're young. When they become tweens, and certainly when they're teens, you become less important as a sounding board. You're still their number one go to person who's there by default, but you're not the first person they're going to go to anymore. That's okay. If the foundation is strong and they know they can trust you and that you'll be there to hear them, then they'll keep coming back when times get hard. And I think ultimately, that's what's difficult for parents is that as their kids get older, they're not sharing in the fun stuff as much, they're sharing in the hard stuff, but that's okay. That's the storm that you weather that is adolescence. Keep that foundation strong. Put away that cell phone, get off the telephone, focus on your kid when they need you and it will pay back in spades.

Cara Natterson, MD Pediatrician and Author, shares advice for parents on the best way to build a close, open, and lasting relationship with your child


Expert Bio

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Cara Natterson, MD

Pediatrician & Author

Cara Natterson, MD has treated thousands of children and guided their parents as well. She was a partner at Tenth Street Pediatrics in Santa Monica, California, a large group practice serving infants, children and teenagers. She now runs Worry Proof Consulting, the first of its kind pediatric practice that offers parents open-ended time to review everything from medical questions and biology basics to child development and parenting issues. Cara is also the author of several books on parenting and child health. She has a unique ability to translate cutting edge research into understandable terms for parents and their kids. More recently, Cara’s consulting has extended beyond individual families to include fortune 500 companies seeking expert advice on safety issues, child health, and crisis management.

Cara has appeared on television, in print, and on the web. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and she trained in pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco. Cara is a Board certified pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. And anyone who knows her knows that Cara is, by nature, one of the most risk-averse people on earth. She lives in California with her husband and two children.

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