What Can You Do to Get to Know Your Child Better?

To get to know your child better, you have to listen to them, show an interest in their likes and dislikes, and accept them as they are.
What Can You Do to Get to Know Your Child Better?
Elena Sanz Martín

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz Martín.

Written by Editorial Team

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Although it may seem strange, there are many parents who ask themselves every day how they can get to know their children better. The fact is that we generally think that, simply because we’re their parents, we know everything about our children. But we can always learn more. With that in mind, keep reading to discover how you can get to know your child better.

However, many times, they surprise us with acts that we never even imagined. It’s then when they feel like strangers and we feel the need to change this situation.

What does knowing my child better involve?

It’s not a question of pride that leads us to want to know more about our children. Rather, it’s because we want to identify their needs and be able to help them. This is important so that nothing takes us by surprise and we can guide them in the right way. For example, in the activities they perform or about their desires for the future.

Many times academic results are confused with children’s abilities and tastes. This leads us to mistakenly believed that certain characteristics are part of their personality. When, in fact, we’re being guided by erroneous and shallow aspects.

In this regard, the life of little ones is usually managed based on the ideas of their parents. This is what motivates the child’s academic performance, and is the basis upon which extracurricular activities are often chosen–Something that leads to the fact that these aren’t always to the child’s liking.

However, there are many things that can be done to get to know your children better. First of all, you need to be aware of the fact that your child is an independent person and is perhaps very different from you. In this case, you may have a hard time seeing them as they really are, but this only leads you to miss the opportunity to get to know them better.

I want to know my child better, what can I do?

A blindfolded child touching her mom's face.

The main thing is to have the determination to get to know them objectively, knowing that what you discover may not be completely to your liking. In this regard, it’s important to reflect on the fact that if until now, you didn’t know it and everything seemed normal, it’s likely that the respect they have for you and the appropriate discipline will keep things balanced.

If you discover that your child’s very different from what you imagined, it’s because they’ve been able to keep it a secret or you’ve been too blind to see it. For this reason, you should pay attention to communication because it’s very likely that it’s been failing. In addition, it’s important to give them the value they deserve, be reasonable, and recognize that their opinion and feelings are very valuable.

Recommendations to get to know your child better:

  • Be objective. See reality as it is and not as you’d like it to be. Stop and observe carefully and without prejudice.
  • Recognize that they’re human, and therefore, have virtues and defects. They’re your child, but that doesn’t make them perfect.
  • Take an interest in their hobbies and deepen your knowledge of them, whether you like them or not. Using friends and teachers as a guide can be useful.
  • Ask friendly questions. Avoid falling into giving sermons and be aware that you’re not the owner of the truth. Improving communication with them and inquiring about their tastes, opinions, and intentions allows you to guide them in the most appropriate way.
  • Play with them. Many things can be achieved through play. It allows us to connect, build trust, and see them in a different context. Sharing a few moments as equals makes it possible for us to recognize their values and their attitude toward competition and others.
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  • Let them take risks, even if it’s under your supervision. This will allow you to see how far they dare to go, if they’re afraid or uninterested, and also if they can trust you. If they make mistakes, this is the time to create a space to support them and correct what’s needed.
  • Give him responsibilities according to their age. This way, you’ll be able to see if they’re able to follow instructions, be punctual, respect, and comply.

Recognize your children’s sensitive periods, guiding instincts, and temperament

It’s true that all children are different and, of course, so is yours. Hence the importance of working on the basis of three keys to know them and develop their potential:

  • Sensitive periods. These are the developmental stages during which the child’s ability to learn something easily and fluently. In this period, it’s better for them to give themselves to what’s known as…
  • The guiding instinct. This facilitates the learning of innate knowledge that the child has always possessed. Parents should be attentive in order to recognize their natural inclinations, tastes, and talents, whether for music, painting, dancing, or any particular manual skill, just to name a few of the innumerable options or possibilities.
  • Temperament. To know your child better, how they react to certain stimuli, their responses to requests or claims, in short, the way they tend to your calls, orders, and requirements, are a display of their temperament, which many times responds to inherited and partly learned models.

These three elements form the bases of any plan to discover conscious and systematic knowledge of our children.

“A child learns things during sensitive periods (…) This sensitivity allows the child to get in touch with the outside world in an exceptionally intense way. And then, everything’s easy for them, everything’s enthusiasm and life”.

– Juan José Morales Ruiz, Doctor in Information Sciences, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona –

A matter of interest

In short, getting to know your child better is a matter of attitude and interest. It’s important to open our minds and be willing to discover, accept, and welcome our little ones as they are. Only then will we be able to guide them throughout their growth.

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The contents of You Are Mom is for educational and informational purposes only. At no time do they replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. If in doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.