In their teenage years, children look up to their parents in more ways than one. All their relationship patterns and future friendships take roots in the relationship that they share with their parents. As a parent, you need to constantly look at the connection you share with your child and ensure that it is a strong and sturdy one. A child, who is able to see his parent more as a mentor and guide, and less as a disciplinarian, fares well in life. Strong connections build up with hard work. Good, nurturing parents don’t come with labels. They look at their parenting techniques objectively and weed away negative factors which hamper the child’s growth and development.
If you are a mindful parent, who sees parenting as something that adds immense value to you and your child, here’s how you can make the bond stronger-
Tips to Build a Good Relationship with your Child
Build a solid foundation:
The connection with your child starts right at the time of birth. Research has shown that parents, who take a week off from work during the time of their child’s birth, continue to form a long lasting relationship with their children.
Developing mutual respect:
Your child might lag behind you in years and experience, but nevertheless, he deserves all the respect and dignity. Mutual respect implies respect for the other person, his choices and limitations. A relationship which has mutual trust, as the backbone, flourishes and thrives with the passage of time. Mutual respect involves:
- Appreciating a child for the choices he makes
- Being non-discriminatory and impartial towards all children
- Refraining from using vitriolic statements like, “You always disappoint me”, “You are incapable”, etc.
Positive, constructive encouragement:
Always remember your child is the original version of himself; he is not an extension of you and your unfulfilled aspirations. Hence, offer positive and constructive encouragement instead of lecturing on “What might work best for him”. Offer freedom to your child to charter his own path.
Prioritize your time with your child:
Quality time is a myth. You have to learn to make time for your child when he prattles about school tests, playground battles, his big and small achievements and little failures. An hour at the pizzeria is not sufficient to tell your child that you are always available for him. He needs your eyes, ears and most importantly your heart.
Trust your child:
Trust does wonders to your teen. All his actions are defined by how much you trust him. Trust does not imply blind belief in your child but having faith in your child’s capabilities and not giving up on your child.
Don’t take your child’s tirades personally:
The age between 6-11 are particularly difficult. Your child is learning to cope with different things. Don’t take your child’s “Mom you never understand” or his slamming the door, personally. Remember, this is not against you; this is more about issues with which he is being unable to cope.
Finally, remember your teen senses both your emotional availability and aloofness. Be there for him when he is trying to tell you something important. Make him feel that he is important than anything else. Be the anchor in his life, so that he does not have to turn to other sources for his emotional needs.