Friday, April 17, 2009

Improving the Parent-Child Relationship: Four Points to Consider

Believe it or not, there has been a debate for years regarding whether a good parent-child relationship matters in the later success of children. But, we all know that this debate is silly since it is a no brainer that a quality relationship between you and your loved one is essential. You will not be a very good parent without it. I suppose you can be a cold disciplinarian and run your household like the military. You may get compliance in your household, but you will also get children who are angry and sneaky. Children thrive when they have good relationships with their parents. With good relationships children are much happier and more successful in friendships and school. When you have a good relationship with your own child, you will have an easier time dealing with problems when they arise. People have always told me that a good relationship is like putting money into a savings account. When you have to set a limit, it is like withdrawing money. If you have no money in the savings account, you will not get any compliance.

So, how does one develop a quality relationship with one’s child? Four points to consider are outlined below:

  • First, hang out with your child and just be. Don’t criticize and don’t control, just be. “Hanging” with children can be just as beneficial as anything else.

  • Second, respect your child for whom he or she is. Try not to be disappointed because your child is not something you want them to be. We all have our traits, gifts, quirks, and issues. Your child will too. You may feel when a child is born that he or she is perfect with no flaws. This is a nice feeling, but you will soon realize that no one is perfect.

  • Third, work hard to help your child understand and respect you. Your child looks to you for care, protection, and guidance. He/she needs you to be there in times of need. You are the anchor and without you, your child will wander in spirit and life. In order to be understood and be respected, tell things about yourself. Tell stories about your own childhood, experiences, likes, and dislikes. Spend time with him/her and really talk. Along with this, do your best to be a healthy role model. Be consistent with what you say and follow through on your word. Be positive in your attitude and demonstrate hope in your actions.

  • Fourth, believe in your child and tell him/her that all will be okay. Having someone really accept you and believe in you is a powerful motivator and crucial to a positive self-esteem. If you have spent the time with your child, you will learn many things. If you have accepted your child for whom he/she is, then you will be that much closer to be able to believe and trust that he/she will be okay in life. Be a mentor and be as positive as you can in your child’s life’s passions and ambitions

By the way, I asked my two children what makes a good parent and they stated, “Ones that love us. Ones that are friendly and nice. Ones that hug you, kisses you, and is willing to snuggle with you.” If this does not point to a need for a close relationship, I don’t know what does.