Becoming a parent is truly one of the major challenges a human being could ever face. Parenthood is a lifetime commitment, and how well you do as a mother or a father to your child will be a major determining factor on how he will be as an adult. That’s why stating that parenthood is important is a true understatement indeed. Having a good relationship with your children should be one of your utmost priorities as a parent – much, much more than your career, or your finances. If you’re looking to know of ways to have a better relationship with your children, here are some pointers that will help you out:
1. Always keep the channels of communication open. One of the most important factors in a relationship is communication. Without communication, there will be virtually no relationship to speak of at all. To encourage communication, it’s important that you actually set times for being together as a family. Remember, it’s not important that these activities be elaborate; what’s more important is consistency. These times could be as simple as having dinner together or driving to places together.
2. Respect your children. This may be obvious, but the sad truth is, many parents look to their children as simply “young ones” whose decisions and opinions don’t really matter. Here’s a tip that many education professionals recommend: treat your children as you would want to be treated. For example, you wouldn’t want to be reprimanded by your boss in front of all your other colleagues, would you? In that same light, you should never reprimand your children in front of all his friends or other family members. You should also make effort to show that his decision and preferences – within reason – are valued. Not only will this help him feel better about his relationship with you, he will also learn to feel better about himself as well.
3. Learn more about your children. This tip refers to two points: both facts that are specific to your child, as well as general data regarding children that is the same age as your child.
For the first pointer, you should make some effort to get to know your child: his preferences, fears, experiences away from home, his friends, etc. Remember, it’s important not to judge but to listen. Let your child talk about his day and let him know that you’re always there to support him and not to criticize.
The second pointer talks about the different characteristics that identify children at specific ages (according to child theorists and experts). For example, three to six year old children are egocentric who are generally capable only of viewing things from their own perspective; normally, it is at the age of seven that children begin to consciously think about another person’s feelings. Also, children from four to six tend to follow authority without question and without exceptions; it is around the age of adolescence that they begin to think that there may be exceptions to the rules and that authority may not necessarily be correct. By learning more about the general characteristics of children at certain ages, you will be able to better know how to relate with them.
4. Practice the authoritarian parenting style. Though there are different ways to raise your child, according to parenting experts, these styles all fall under three specific categories: authoritative parenting, permissive parenting, and authoritarian parenting. The first two are extremes that should be avoided, while the last one is the ideal.
Authoritarian parenting style’s characteristics include being consistent, encouraging and supportive, but firm in laying down rules and carrying out disciplinary measures. Children of authoritarian parents know that their parents will always love them, but they will need to follow established rules, for their own good.
There you have it! These are just some of the ways to have a better relationship with your children. It will definitely require effort from you to build a good relationship with your child; it would probably even require you to let go of other important things to focus more on raising your kids. However, the benefits of maintaining strong ties with your kids have boundless benefits that would make all your effort worth it. Good luck!