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Establishing good parent-child tie

Of the various relationships people form in their lifetime, the parent-child relationship is one of the most important. The quality of this relationship is affected…

Of the various relationships people form in their lifetime, the parent-child relationship is one of the most important. The quality of this relationship is affected by the parents’ age, experience and self-confidence, the stability of the parents’ relationship and the unique characteristics of the child as against those of the parents.

Generally, every father and mother desires to be a good parent and wants the best for their child. Children also want to be in their best behaviour and a lot of times want to live up to the expectations of their parents. This could raise anxiety for the parents as well as the child. With both parties trying to live up to their end of the bargain, strains develop and hamper the relationship.

In many homes, there are dysfunctional patterns which begin from early in the child’s life, continue with him into adulthood and create lifelong familial strife. It is common to see adults who have also become parents still unable to see eye-to-eye with their parents and vice versa, because they have difficulty loving and appreciating each other’s uniqueness and points of views as a result of the way they related in their younger days.

To build a long-lasting relation with your child, you should start by appreciating him as an individual and creating an affective relationship with him. Remember that you are the example he looks up to and your actions and decisions should give him a clear vision of how best he can shape his life.

As an infant, your child is at your mercy and a limitation on your ability to be there for him may interfere in the love and acceptance that should ordinarily exist between you two. If this situation goes on for another number of years, it may result in scarring the child’s ego, self-esteem and ability to find usefulness in himself.

Take care to be sensitive to his needs and be a part of his activities. Acts as simple as playing games with him and discussing school work and his friends over a meal or during a drive could reveal and unleash so much more about your child than a tensed authoritarian atmosphere would get out of him.

Put yourself in his shoes so that you’ll understand his feelings in some given situations and also make you think back to how you would react given the same circumstance if you were his age.

Be observant of your child’s experiences and changes. Ask him about them and allow him to express his thoughts and needs to you. This way, you can think them through and give him the best guidance rather than get into an argument with him and reject what he says. Test and then trust your child’s ability by engaging him in challenges commensurate with his age. Allow him to make mistakes without questioning his motives and choices. Engage in constructive dialogues with examples aimed at correcting and broadening his horizon.

Give him an opportunity to experience success absolutely by his own efforts. When he suffers a setback, analyse the situation with him and make him see where he could have done things differently and made better choices. Avoid spoon-feeding him where you can. Engage in short simple discussions with clear messages which don’t contradict themselves as you teach him the consequences of making the wrong choices. It will build his confidence level and spell out to him what is expected of him.

In as much as you want to build a loving relationship with your child, you should never let go of your parental authority. Disciplining your child is a major challenge for parents, even for the most experienced of them all. The way you react to the things he does could make or mar him as well as affect his interactions with others and evaluation of himself. Over time, your child is likely to see himself the way you see him. If you consider him worthless or rebellious, he will view himself as such; soon, his actions will consistently reinforce this image.

While it is important to teach or instil discipline in a child, it should not be mistaken for punishment. While discipline is necessary to teach a child how to live comfortably in society, it should not be confused with punishment.

In as much as parents are usually the ideal symbols and inspirations to their children, it is important to note that the art of parenting is something one grows into and that it varies from one child to the other. There is no perfect recipe for being a parent and so mistakes are inevitable, but should be corrected.

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