Parenting. Is there a right or wrong way to do it? Billions throughout the world are parents. Regardless, all parents have different mindsets on how to do their job. The parent-child relationship is a delicate, yet powerfully significant entity in life.
Clearly, making it a positive force is a challenge. Nonetheless, it’s something that is definitely attainable.
Notably, there are many social and psychological reports. They include explaining the impact of family demographics. Next, these include cultural and economic influences. Additionally, there are plenty of written guidelines, all which aim to help to produce the “model child.”
Get Your Parent-Child Relationship Philosophy Straight
Realistically, there will be dramas. And yes, children will answer back. Kids will also be non-compliant. So, how do parents stay grounded and consistent when faced with tough challenges?
Ask yourself this question: What makes the closest to an ideal parent?
All the while, parenting is accomplished in many different ways, yet, the answers are roughly the same:
- Unconditional love
- A positive role model
- Teaching children to be independent
Where Things Can Go Awry
In today’s society, a majority of parents forget the foundations. Ironically, many adults veer off this well-laid path by complicating the way they parent. Unfortunately, things like this may happen:
- Reduced supervision in the home environment
- Helicopter parents who hover over the child and rescue them from negative situations
- Drill sergeant parents who shout instructions and control
Even With the Best Intentions…
Most parents come from the good place of love. Oftentimes, however, their personal traits and insecurities dictate how these influence their child’s behavior. So then, how does one ensure a positive parent-child relationship while not letting personal issues affect on the optimism of the relationship?
Here are a couple of suggestions to boost the parent-child relationship:
- Let the child fail. As frightening as this statement sounds, through failure, the child will learn. For example, guide and advise, but do not control. Sometimes, children need to be able to make their own decisions. This is a skill imperative to their future. In addition, this will help your relationship and fortify independence.
- An example of this is homework. Helping (or doing) the questions, or constantly reminding them to complete the task, may not be helpful. Finally, it may result in them not suffering a natural consequence. Overall, nothing here will be learned by the child. Not academics. Not consequences.
- Quality time. Switch off the phones, TV, computers, and sit down to talk. Dinner time is perfect. Obviously it’s not always possible because of activities and jobs. Most importantly, then, carve out at least 15 minutes a day to have worthy conversation. It doesn’t have to be about the meaning of life. But, it could be as simple as asking how the day went. Or, it could even be sharing a joke. All of these conversations open up lines of communication. Children need reassurance that parents are always there to talk to. No matter how hectic life can get.
Have Rules and Set Boundaries
Starting from infancy, the parents set the rules. “Don’t touch that, it’s too hot.” “Don’t hit your brother!” “Don’t draw on the walls,” etc. The list is endless. However, actions following broken rules have a huge validity on the parent-child relationship.
What set of consequences are in place? And, are they adhered to? If there is threat of action due to a broken rule, correction must follow. If not, children feel they can break rules again. Unfortunately, this can also lead to insecurities due to lack of boundaries.
Structure as a Necessity
Noteworthy, humans need structure and rules to flourish and feel secure. Numerous studies have shown this to be true. Structure can make interactions with children concrete. Success in rule-making for the parent-child relationship follows these simple steps:
- Set simple rules everyone understands.
- Be consistent and don’t back down.
- Don’t feel guilty. Most importantly, these rules are in place to ensure children’s safety.
- Teach respect, and in turn, empathy.
Society as a Factor
Modern day society can be considered complex. For one, it may have us clambering to the top of a competitive pile. Also, it can be considered egocentric. “Shoot your neighbor, get out of my way, I’m first.”
In order to raise children as non-narcissistic little monsters, efforts may be better focused on education and character.
A Harvard study of 10,000 middle- and high-school students found that four out-of-five kids perceived that their parents valued achievement more than caring for others. That’s pretty sad.
Whether the students’ perception were accurate or not, the information is devastating. In the best of all worlds, parents should lead by example. We need to show compassion for others through our words and actions.
With communication, empathy, logic, rules and consistency, parents have the tools to raise their kids. The child-rearing road may be full of potholes. But, with a strong foundation, a good relationship will form and hopefully have longevity. To read more about parent/child relationships, please check out DrDaveCampbell.com