The Importance of Relationship
Whether your children are four or fourteen, the parent-child relationship is equally important. How would you rate your relationship with your child? If your child has a problem, are you the person that he or she will come to for help?
As parents, we tend to be very concerned about ensuring our children listen to us, follow through on directions, show respect, and behave responsibility. These are all very important, but we must also be careful that the way we are teaching and disciplining is not interfering with our relationship with our child. Disciplining with anger, shame, fear, and physical punishment can severely affect the trust relationship between parents and children.
In all of our relationships, we know that respect is a key factor. In healthy relationships with friends, partners, and family, there is mutual respect and the parent-child relationship is no different. Through a healthy, respectful parent-child relationship, children can develop self-confidence and positive self-esteem.
Ways to Maintain and Improve Your Relationship with Your Child
- Try not to overload your child with extra-curricular activities. Activities are great but too many can interfere with the time you and your child could spend together.
- Stop and listen when your child comes to you. Try to give your full attention. If you are unable to do so, set a time that you and your child can talk.
- Encourage whenever possible, and notice the positive things that your child is doing. Use detail when praising or encouraging your child.
- Be consistent and firm with your discipline. Try not to respond in anger, and if you do, apologize.
- Try to take a few minutes, a few times a day, just to check in with your child. Notice what they are doing, or sing a song together, or tell jokes. Follow your child’s interests and topics of conversation.
- Seek out nature when possible.
- Laugh with your child. Be the subject of the laughter if necessary!
- Play. Whether your child is a toddler, a school-aged child, or a teen, they all like to play. Grown-ups sometimes forget how to play.
- Allow your child to be individual, separate from you. Celebrate their uniqueness! Just be yourself and allow your child to be himself or herself.
- As your child grows and friends become more important, try not to take it personally. You are still very important in your child’s life; try to be there when he/she needs you, and take a step back when he/she is learning to be independent.
For information on your parenting topics or concerns, please contact the Parenting Line at Campbell River Family Services: 250-287-2421.
Written By: Sandy Bellosillo