As a parent, you want what is best for your child. A strong parent-child bond can help lead to better outcomes for children. This sense of connection shows them they are loved and valuable, improves self-confidence, promotes their sense of belonging, and builds a positive identity and sense of self. But maintaining a bond with a child throughout both your lives can be difficult. While love is the key, love can be a challenging idea for a young mind to grasp.
Play is one of the easiest ways of bonding with your child. It's a child's way of learning, of trying out different ideas and understanding their experience. Playing with your child does not need to cost a lot of money and does not need to be complicated. Why not try chess?
Chess as a bonding tool
Chess is a fantastic bonding tool. It's inexpensive, it doesn't have set social boundaries, and has no physical requirements. It's an activity that both parent and child can learn simultaneously with both players being on equal footing (although children who are serious about chess tend to surpass their parents over time).
Equally good for both parent and child
The idea that chess can improve a child's logic and reasoning skills also apply to parents. It's also good for one's memory - a plus for older parents and excellent for children lacking in focus.
Enter the neutral zone
Chess is a game of the mind in which plans meet counter plans. It's a neutral zone where parents are less likely to say something their child thinks is uncool. It's a chance to spend time with your child in a place where it's all about the game, leaving views and opinions of the world behind.
How to start
If you're a parent who already plays chess, you can help develop your child's chess skills. Your child will welcome the idea of becoming better because they, in turn, will be able to go out and beat their friends at chess, thanks to your help.
With teenagers, you don't want to set up a scheduled time to play at first. Set up a chessboard, and sooner or later, they'll get curious. Only then, when your child is interested, should you suggest a regularly scheduled game. This can go a long way towards strengthening bonds.
If you and your child are both new to chess, you can start with the basic concepts such as the different pieces and the movements that each piece can make. Using an age-appropriate chess book every parent can teach their kid how to play chess, even without knowing how to play themselves. If your child struggles with a chess concept, work together to understand it.
If your child is already taking chess lessons, let your child become the teacher. Ask them to show you what they learned in their chess lesson that day. Of course, you'll want to go over what they show you to make sure they are playing correctly.
Try playing some chess with your child. Consider it a long-term investment, one that pays off down the road because forming a better bond may be the single event that prevents costly mistakes later in their lives. With this improved sense of safety and security; when they go through hard times, they will feel able to talk with you about what is concerning them. Better human bonds make for better humans.