There are lots of different types of parents out there - which kind are you? Authoritative?Permissive? Instinctive? Is it better to be helicopter or free-range?
Each parenting styles has its own merits, but at the end of the day the truth is we are ALL striving to be great parents. We all want to raise kids who are healthy, happy, kind and well-behaved. So, what matters most?
Children have a natural willingness to please, a genuine curiosity and an ability to change, which makes connecting with them a little easier. They genuinely believe YOU are the best, fixer of everything and the ultimate play companion!
As your child grows and their interests and needs change, this natural bond fades and the RELATIONSHIP evolves.
If you want your pre-teen to tell you if they are being bullied or want a teenager that can talk to you openly and honestly - it starts with building that strong connection when they are YOUNG.
As a gymnastics coach, teaching kids of all ages starting from 18 months, I am, in many instances, a child’s first experience with an outside caregiver.
I am a BIG deal in a child’s SMALL world. Having a positive relationship with the kids I teach supports their learning and development. I started Gymkidz because I had a vision to watch children grow through doing gymnastics. Our program influences the relationship kids have with their coaches and in our parent assisted classes, we shape the way parents and kids connect.
Our program places early childhood development at the heart of what we do. The importance of this parent-child relationship combined with our roles is intertwined with connection.
How do you build a strong relationship?
1. Love in action
To build a strong relationship love needs to be more than words. It means prioritising connecting with your kid and putting that love into action. Closeness is built intentionally, through shared experiences. Being completely present and attentive in the moments that matter.
At Gymkidz we intentionally design our parent-child gymnastics circuits with specific connection activities. Think crawling through mums legs on the balance beam and rocking back and forth, while sitting on dads lap. Coaches and kids connect through spotting and correcting skills, attention and high-fives! We mindfully prioritise physical connections and provide an environment for parents to be fully present and for kids to feel totally connected.
"Closeness is built intentionally, through shared experiences."
2. Start with trust
Trust is born at infancy when babies learn that they can depend on you to meet their emotional and physical needs. As your kid grows up, this trust becomes a two way street. Their trust is earned when you follow through by taking them to the park as promised, or picking them up when they fall. As parents, you extend your trust by believing in your kid and trusting in their potential for positive change, no matter what they do.
At Gymkidz, trust looks like a coach assisting a kid to balance across the beam or execute a forward roll safely. Parents have to trust in the process of learning through gymnastics and watch as their kids bravely fail - but trust in their resilience and perseverance to get back up.
Trust is coupled with mutual respect to lay the foundation of a great relationship. This is not to say that all boundaries go out the window. At Gymkidz we set firm but fair limits and do it with empathy and respect, so that kids learn to treat others with respect and to expect the same in return.
"As your kid grows up, this trust becomes a two way street."
3. Little chatterbox companions
It’s challenging paying attention to fourteen prattling little ones whilst trying to start a gymnastics class. However, listening and talking to kids is not only one of the best ways to build a kid’s vocabulary, but it also shapes their social skills and influences their wider ability to learn.
At the start of each Gymkidz Toddler and Preschool classes, we come together to ignite kids' imagination through a weekly theme - think under the sea, space adventures or dinosaurs. We discuss five theme pictures to introduce our gymnastics shape of the week and make it easy for kids to relate and communicate around an exciting theme.
Parents in our assisted classes, guide their kids around a circuit and patiently communicate the correct gymnastics skills to their feisty toddlers. Along the way parents get to understand their kids fears and unique point of view.
At Gymkidz we believe that it’s important that every kid feels heard and that we take the time to listen and understand kids' perspective. We believe that you miss an opportunity to learn something about kids when you aren’t really listening to them.
"...listening and talking to kids is not only one of the best ways to build a kid’s vocabulary, but it also shapes their social skills and influences their wider ability to learn."
Gymnastics is a great activity for parents to prioritise connecting with their kids. Gymkidz provides the very best environment to nurture trust, develop mutual respect and give kids a platform to communicate. Our priority is growing confident, empathetic kids who feel totally loved and accepted through some serious gymnastics fun.
Want to connect and build a stronger relationship with your kid, or just want to learn more about what we do? Why not contact us to join us for a trial session and to find out more about our program.
Visit gymkidz.com.au for a FREE trial or for class availability and pricing