Few things in life are more important than the parent/child relationship. The better the relationship, the greater the child’s future potential. Parents figure influences children beyond measure. They are the children’s first teachers and remain a critical influence throughout their lives.
The Importance of an Affirmative Parent/Child Relationship
An old truism states, “There are no bad children, just bad parents,”. This may be a broad generalization, but it holds a myriad of truths.
It is the parent that sets the tone in developing the emotional, physical, and social growth of a child. This bond is unique and critical to every parent and child. It is the basis on which the child’s life and values are built.
Children who enjoy a strong, secure bond with their parents are far more likely to establish positive relationships as they grow up because the very foundation of their youth was positive. As adults, these children are more capable of handling stress and life’s adversities. They have a higher level of self-confidence and are more optimistic of a positive outcome to random circumstances. These children will invariably develop strong emotional and cognitive qualities. This will help them become better and more confident problem-solvers, an important attribute they will take into adulthood.
Different Parenting Styles
Parents are individuals, and their parenting styles will differ. Parenting styles can also change as the child grows, develops, and changes. However, there are a few universals that help establish a positive parenting bond:
Kind and Loving Relationship
Yes, parents are the ones who set rules, curfews, and make the young ones eat their broccoli. While parents monitor their child’s behavior, they can also discipline in a loving manner. Children are perfectly capable of understanding they are loved even during “time out.”
There is never a time when a hug or encouraging word are not appropriate and appreciated.
A loving parent knows how to set boundaries and expectations of behavior. This teaches a child that rule-breaking has consequences. Children should understand this.
Listening to Children
Children won’t always communicate their concerns to their parents. Sometimes, they are embarrassed, and at other times, they just don’t know how to put their feelings into words. That is why active listening on the part of the parent is so critical.
Active listening is more than just hearing words. It’s hearing the feelings behind the words. It’s hearing the words not being spoken. Parents can help children express their feelings and provide reassurance.
We are also confronted with problems and decisions every day, even the youngest of children (should I snitch that candy or not). While children can readily make fun of parental rules, they do learn from them, as well as from the parents’ own actions. Do the parents advocate caring while being bad neighbors? Do they insist on the truth while lying themselves?
Children learn to face problems and solve them through the example set by the parents. When parents are good role models, children have a daily blueprint of how to behave and face problems. Parents frequently underestimate their role and power as teachers. When there is no parent (either physically or emotionally), it can affect the child well into adulthood.
How to Strengthen the Parent/Child Bond
A bond is based on positivity. A parent can never tell the child often enough that he or she is loved and cherished – despite not being perfect. Even when children are being punished for misbehaving, there is no reason not to let them know that they are still loved.
Spend Time With Your Child.
Most parents spend a few minutes each night reading a story to their children. However, the more togetherness parents and children enjoy, the stronger their bond. Parents can play with their children, sit down over a snack and chat about anything that is on the child’s mind. They can simply invite the child to be present while the parent cooks or does repairs. Being allowed a glimpse into the world of adults is very beneficial to a child as he or she learns new words and skills. Even when busy, parents can be available to their children. If there is more than one child, a parent should make the effort to spend individual quality time with each child.
Meals Are Together Times
In today’s hectic world, with both parents usually working, a family sit-down dinner can become a rarity. The rarer it becomes, the more important it is to re-establish this habit. While the conversation over meatloaf doesn’t have to be sparkling, dinner together is an important family ritual. It’s an important symbol of unity.
Parents create the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives. Each word and action becomes an important block to create the whole. Regardless of the child’s age, he or she will always look to parents for wisdom and guidance.
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