Although I am not a certified professional in this area, my life experience takes me beyond what any fresh graduate in psychology would know. For I have 7 sisters, and 3 children of my own. I can say for certain that a parents relationship with each and every child is different, and unique.
I have spent years observing the parent child relationships and the differences of perspectives on parents by children who were all reaised within the same household. It is amazing to see how much perception varies from child to child. Although children have the same parent providing the same things in the exact same environments, the children still have different memories and perceptions of that parent.
While one may remember a parent to be hardworking, one may remember laziness. One child may remember a happy parent, while one remembers them disgruntled. One may remember a parent to be a liar, and another child within that same home and upbringing may remember that parent to be a liar. It varies from family to family, but nonetheless we all remember things differently.
Each child will carry their own issues to adulthood if they are not tended to in the earlier years. It is important that we as parents are aware of how to not only create a healthy relationship with our children; but keep it healthy for years to come. There are steps we can take early on to promote a lifetime of happiness with our children, even as they mature and become adults themselves.
Steps To Maintaining That Healthy Relationship:
In any relationship communication is important. It is crucial that our children always remain comfortable telling us anything. With that being said, it is imperative that we do not cast judgment on what they say, and that we truly listen. They are their own person. They are not who we want them to be. They are who they were created to be. Often times children quit speaking if a parent exhibits controlling behavior. If they can’t tell us the little things, they will never tell us the big things. So stay calm, and just listen. They will always come back if you do.
It is important not to show favoritism, and treat all children fairly. If you are attending events that are important to one child you should be attending events important to the other children as well. By not having equality it is causing the children feeling that are feeling more left out to have less faith in themselves. Therefor lowering their self-esteem, which can have a huge impact on their teenage and adult years.
It is important to show support in anything they do. Even if you think it is the craziest thing you have ever heard of. By being negative about their choices, you are pushing them away from you. Get down on their level, and try to see things as they see it. If they have an interest in something, help them peruse it. If they need someone to extinguish their flame, there are plenty of people in the world to do that. If they are on fire with enthusiasm, burn with them. Being enthusiastic and having drive, is a good thing!
There is nothing better for a child or even adult child to see, than a parent apologize when they are wrong. We are not perfect, and we will make mistakes. It is important that we do not sweep things under the rug, and pretend as though we know nothing about what happened. It is OK to apologize to your children if you need to. They understand just as everyone understands, that we are doing the best we can. It’s not like a “How To” guide comes out with the child or even in the afterbirth.
Keep Your Word
Do not make promises you can’t keep. Instead teach them that your word is who you are.
This is a hard thing for any parent, but often necessary. To prevent a co-dependent relationship it must be enforced. Make them work for what they want, and do not bail them out of every situation. By doing this, you are enabling them to repeat the behavior. They will repeat the same mistakes until they learn, and bailing them out only teaches them one thing: not to count on themselves.
We may have a plan for our children and the direction they go in life, but God likely has one that is completely different. Pray for your children to make wise choices, and to become good people. Pray for them to yield to His plan for their life.
There aren’t exactly any true tests in parenting until the child reaches the age of18. To know how well you have done is only answered when the child does one of two things; sinks or swims. It is vital for their health and the health of our relationship with them that we prepare them in all areas of life to promote healthy adult relationships in their life. It all begins with communication. However it can also end from the lack of such.
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