Connect With Kids

Dr. Rich Patterson

Connect With Kids

What does it take to connect with kids?  I mean, what do you have to do to touch them on their heart to open communication?  Let’s take a look at how to establish an excellent connection with kids.  There are five essential points to be aware of, among many.

First, ensure that your child has several people whom they can talk to about anything.  Hopefully, you will make a list, but if not, then you have work to do.  These adults are just around and available for kids.  It may be a youth pastor, YMCA staff member, an organization, club, or activity of which they are members.  It should be someone who tells stories, laughs, helps them develop values, challenges them to rise higher, and helps with the obstacles of life.  Several of these types of people help build that resiliency or the Teflon coating to which I refer.

Second, write, text, or speak words of encouragement to them.  Know their schedule, what tests they have, or what presentations they may have and be on top of communicating with them.  There is an ad on television where an elementary child sits down in the school lunchroom to have his lunch, opens his lunch sack, and finds a note from his parent.  I think that would be just wonderful, even as an adult.  Try this with your spouse; I bet you’ll get a friendly phone call from them.

Third, know what your child loves and share it with others.  Brag about them in front of other adults.  Be able to tell how they work at something, like a particular sport or musical instrument.  Tell some stories about how it has helped them and changed them.  Do in their presence and use that knowledge to connect and support them in their activities and accomplishments.  Helping them make connections with things like sports and music, which take years to develop higher levels of performance, means they are with solid kids—just the type of kids you want them to be around.

Fourth, put together special events where they can invite friends or have friends come over.  My sister is a tremendous cook, and her three boys were well aware of her great cooking.  Throughout their years growing up, the focus was to have friends over for some food that everyone could enjoy.  Along with the food goes activities to play and have fun, laughing and teasing each other while you are there as an adult.  Time together definitely helps build relationships in both ways.

Fifth, ask them what their favorite music, sport, book, hobby, phone app, whatever you can think of to help connect.  Ask them to show you how to use it and to show you how they use it.  Have them load it on your phone, even if you already know-how, and use it with them.

Part 2 of this series, Connect With Kids, can be found here Connect With Kids – Part 2 – Dr. Rich Patterson (

Other posts are here Connect With Kids – Part 4 – Dr. Rich Patterson (

I love Shelley’s post here 15 Powerful Connecting With Kids Daily Steps to a Strong Relationship! (

These five ideas help adults connect with kids so that they feel comfortable about you.  When we take time to do this and allow them to tell you what you may already know, we build relationships.


Yours for Better Parenting,