Create a Positive Relationship with Your Child

by Craig Roberts,  Licensed Clinical Social Worker

What is your parent/child relationship made out of? Some are made out of power struggles. Others are made out of indifference and distance. The kind that you want is made out of happy connections. For that to happen, you must create happy connecting experiences with your child! You, the parent, choose this and cause it to happen. Here’s how to create a positive relationship with your child.

Choose to interact

Put a priority on interacting with your child. Put aside the electronic screens, housework, and other distractions, and dedicate time to your child.

Creating Positive Relationship with Your Children | Root for Kids
Photo by Lina Kivaka

Bring positive energy

It doesn’t matter if you are playing a game, pulling weeds, doing homework, baking cookies, driving in the car, shopping, doing dishes, or anything. Whatever you are doing, be positive. Talk about how you love your child and like doing things with him/her. Notice his/her good qualities. Make everything into a game. Make it so that it feels happy just being together. When you are smiling together, you know you’re getting things right.

Your attention is the best gift

People give attention to things that are important to them. Children get good self-esteem from seeing that they are important enough to be noticed and appreciated. When you look at your child, s/he knows s/he is important. When you smile at him/her, s/he knows s/he is a good person. When you give loving touch, s/he feels love even more deeply. When you play and laugh together, suddenly the whole world is wonderful.

Creating Positive Relationship with Your Children | Root for Kids
Photo by Tatiana Syrikova

Join your child’s experience

When something is important to your child, it is important to you! Focus on what they focus on. If they are interested in a bug, get interested, too. If they are learning to cut with scissors, enjoy cutting together. If they are playing cars in the dirt, get in the dirt and join in. If they just split up with their boyfriend/girlfriend, and want to watch mindless TV for a while, join the moment. If they’re stuck in cyber world, text them. You want to show your child how important s/he is to you, and the way to do it is to put importance on what is important to him/her.

For more on tips from Craig, check out Ideas on Creating Structure with Young Children

Ideas on Creating Structure with Young Children

Being at home all the time with the kids can be challenging. Especially trying to establish routines with children. We asked Craig Roberts, our amazing Licensed Clinical Social Worker, to share a few ideas on creating structure with young children. 

Start with the attitude that “We do things together.” 

We play together, we work together, etc.  This way, you get more interaction and more chances to have joy together.

Ideas on Creating Structure with Young Children | Root for Kids
source: Shutterstock

Show respect in getting your child away from their previous activity

Give them a heads up if possible.  If they’re watching TV, give them until the end of the show, or until the next commercial.  If they’re playing a video game, give them a 5-minute warning, or until they finish the next puzzle, etc.  Kindly stick to your guns and end the activity when the time comes.  If your child is sad/mad about leaving an activity, warmly accept his/her feelings.

Put activities in a timeline that makes sense

Get the work done before the fun.  Some examples are: “We’re going to eat soon, but before we can do that, we need to cook the food and set the table.”  “In a while, it will be time to go to the park, but before that, we need to get the house cleaned so that when we get back, we won’t have to do all that work when we’re tired.”

Transform the work into fun 

For instance, if you have a race to see whether you can cook the food first or your child can set the table first, your child will probably have fun beating you in the race.  If you drive the laundry basket around the house saying, “No, don’t put any dirty laundry in me,” your child will probably laughingly stuff all the dirty laundry in.  Something is fun if you, the parent, make it fun.  It’s a drudge if you, the parent, make it a drudge.  Figure out how to make it fun.

Ideas on Creating Structure with Young Children | Root for Kids
source: Shutterstock

Talk about your feelings and values regarding the task at hand, while keeping positive 

Do the “before” and “after” picture with your words.  For instance, “We’re going to go on a walk tonight, but first we need to get the dishes done.  Oh, look at these dishes all messy and cluttery.  Are we going to let them clutter up our sink?  No, we are not! You dishes are going to get clean.  Johnny and I will see to that!”  Have fun as you wash the dishes with Johnny.  When you’re done, appreciate your work.  “Wow.  Our kitchen feels great now.  We’re a great dishwashing team. Now it’s time to go on our walk!” 

Be appreciative of whatever positive thing your child does

If you’re cleaning Suzie’s bedroom and she makes the bed and it’s all lumpy, say “Wow.  You got your bed made. You got the pillow in the right place, and got the blanket pulled up over the top of it.  Very nice work!”  Find the good in what she did, and she will feel proud to help and encouraged to help the next time.  Ignore the lumps, and over the years they will get smoothed out.

Give your child many appropriate moments of power and choice

You might say, “OK.  Now we’re cleaning your room.  You’re in charge in here.  Do you think we should start with the toys first or the dirty clothes first?”  Giving power to your child helps him/her feel like the owner of the chore and starts building his/her ability one day to do chores independently from you.  But don’t rush that.  Wait until your relationship is feeling very strong and happy. You don’t want to miss out on opportunities to happily work together.

Ideas on Creating Structure with Young Children | Root for Kids
source: Shutterstock

Root for Kids serves children from birth to age five in Washington County, Utah and the Arizona Strip. We are still enrolling for all of our programs! Fill out our referral form today.

More Home Activities for Kids

Play time and activities are a huge part of a toddler’s life. Not only they keep the little ones entertained, but they also support brain development (which is rapidly happening in the first years of life). With that in mind, our developmental specialists selected a few home activities! Each activity helps support an area of development and comes with a book suggestion.

If you are interested in any of our home visiting services (virtual, for now) fill out our referral form! Root for Kids serves pregnant women and children from birth to age 5 in Washington County, Utah and the Arizona Strip.

Home Activities for Kids | Root for Kids

Home Activities for Kids | Root for Kids

More Home Activities for Kids | Root for Kids

More Home Activities for Kids | Root for Kids

More Home Activities for Kids | Root for Kids

More Home Activities for Kids | Root for Kids

More Home Activities for Kids | Root for Kids

Home Activities for Kids

Are you struggling to keep the kids busy? It can be hard to avoid excessive screen time at home. But we are here to help! From experiments and crafts to physical activity, here are some ideas of home activities for kids.


Feed your child’s brain and curiosity with these simple at home activities and experiments.

Story Time

Reading helps children learn new vocabulary and express themselves using language. The more interactive you can make story time, the more involved and engaged your child will be. See how you can make the most of toddler story time.

Around the World 

Bring the world to your living room! You can start by making a passport with your child and having them point on a map where they want to go. Teach them a little bit about the country, what language is spoken, look at pictures and do an activity related to that country. It would also be fun to research simple recipes and try them out with your child.

Magnet Discovery Bottle


DIY Reading Toy


Fingerprint Counting Activity


Name Recognition Activity


Physical Activity

An active lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle. And kids have a lot of energy to spend! Keep them entertained with these simple exercises and join in.

10 Simple Toddler Exercises


Yoga for Kids (3-5)


Family Fun Cardio Workout


Arts & Crafts

Crafts play a big part on fine motor development. In addition to that, creative activities stimulate both sides of the brain and help children develop both emotional and intellectual skills.

Under the Sea

 What can you find under the sea? Use a blue background for the ocean (blue table cloth from the dollar store will work great) and create a whimsical ocean scene with jelly fish, wiggly-eyed glitter fish, sea turtle, seahorse puppets, and even mermaids! Use the crafts for pretend play.

Play Dough “Painting”
Home Activities for Kids | Root for Kids
source: Shutterstock


Musical Tambourine
Musical Tambourine | Root for Kids
source: Lakeshore Learning


Sensory Crafts


Paper Crafts


Wholesome home activities can support children’s development. If you have any concerns about your child, please fill out our online form.*

*Root for Kids serves children 0-5 in Washington County, Utah and the Arizona Strip.

Things to Do in the Summer with Kids in St. George

Summer is upon us and with it endless opportunities to have fun with the kids! It’s the season for swimming, traveling, camping, watching fireworks, going to the county fair, and so much more. Whether you are a local or planning to visit the red rock country, check out the best things to do with the kids this summer in St. George!

Cool Off on the Splash Pads

It can get pretty hot around here so splash pads are quite popular in the summertime. The kids will love playing in the water and you will love the fact that it is free. Try the splash pads at the St. George Town Square, Hidden Valley Park, Thunder Junction All Abilities Park, Sullivan Virgin River Soccer Park, Pine View Park and Archie H. Gubler Park. 

Things to Do in the Summer with Kids in St. George | Root for Kids
Thunder Junction All Abilities Park Facebook Page

Take a Music Class

Kids can learn so many skills through music and summer can be the perfect time to hone those skills. For children 0-3 years old and their parent or caregiver, Root for Kids is offering week-long Kindermusik® summer camps throughout the summer! The camps include 2 in-studio classes and one field trip related to that week’s theme. 

Kindermusik | Root for Kids

Go on a Hike

St. George is the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors. There are lots of hiking options close to the city and most of them are free and open to all! A few short and easy hikes to do with the kids include Temple Quarry Trail, Chuckwalla Trail, Sandstone Quarry Trail, Jenny’s Canyon Trail and Children’s Forest at the Kiln. Make sure you bring plenty of water and plan your hiking adventure either early morning or after dinner to escape the heat!

Things to Do in the Summer with Kids in St. George | Root for Kids
Children’s Forest at the Klin | Hike St. George

Watch a Movie in the Park

It doesn’t get much better than lying in a blanket in the middle of the park to watch a fun movie under the stars. To make your summer dreams a reality, St. George’s Sunset on the Square hosts bi-monthly free movie nights at the Town Square in June, July and August. Games, food and dancing start at 6:00 p.m. and the movie starts at dusk.

Things to Do in the Summer with Kids in St. George | Root for Kids
Sunset on the Square/Write It Up St. George Facebook Page

Explore Historic St. George

St. George has a rich history and many places in the downtown area that you can explore on your own. But if you want to make it more interesting for the kids and bring history to life, check out the Historic St. George Live tour! From June 1 to August 31, you can meet historic figures such as Brigham Young, Erastus Snow, Jacob Hamblin and Judge John Menzies as well as pioneer settlers at different historic locations. Tours start at the St. George Art Museum and are only $3 for ages 12 and up (children are free with an adult). After the tour, you can use the same ticket to explore the St. George Art Museum as well. 

Things to Do in the Summer with Kids in St. George | Root for Kids
St. George Art Museum Facebook Page

Attend Local Events

St. George hosts a variety of family-friendly events throughout the year, especially during the summer. From March through October, you can enjoy the St. George Streetfest every first Friday of the month. In the beginning of August, the traditional Washington County Fair takes place and this year Root for Kids is excited to sponsor the Baby Contest! And of course you can’t miss the 4th of July Celebration at Town Square.

Things to Do in the Summer with Kids in St. George | Root for Kids
City of St. George Facebook Page

Make it Cultural

Just because the kids are out of school, doesn’t mean that the learning stops! Between library events and interactive museums, you will surely find an activity your kids will love. Most of them are free or under $5! Take your future pilot to the Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum, explore the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site and the St. George Children’s Museum, and check out Story Time at the St. George Library. Also, make sure to check the event page of the museum websites to find other unique things to do. 

Things to Do in the Summer with Kids in St. George | Root for Kids
St. George Children’s Museum Facebook Page

It doesn’t matter what activities you do this summer with the kids, the most important thing is to spend quality family time together!

Root for Kids serves 600 children every week in their homes to help them and their families. You can help us promote the success of children one family at a time by joining us on September 7, 2019 for The Secret Garden Gala.