Raising your children in a relationship rather than a dictatorship is a key element to successful parenting. If you want a relationship with your child create an atmosphere that says, “I am here for you and to help you". On the other hand, if you want to alienate your child create an atmosphere that says, "I am the boss and you will do as I say!"
Healthy communication with your children is what will determine the type of relationship you will share. On going communication is what will allow the relationship to deepen and strengthen.
Parents are often so busy they forget the need to consciously cultivate a relationship with their children. It is certainly not a lack of desire; they are generally placing most of their time and energy into providing for their children. At the end of the day, parents are grateful that they have been able to provide the necessities in life and devote even a small amount of time to just being with their children.
However, we must not sell our children short. They are much smarter than we give them credit for. They know and they see how busy life is for their parents. What they need is to know that they are the most important part of those busy days and nights. In this area, quality outweighs quantity. When you only have a short amount time to spend with your kids, talk with them, not at them. Talk about what interests them rather than interrogating them.
Whenever you are with them…while driving them to school, running errands, or at the dinner table, ask them what they are thinking about. Share your thoughts about what is happening in your life and ask their opinion. In other words, include them in a meaningful exchange of thoughts…even if only for a few minutes.
Sadly, the type of relationship parents have with their children is not examined until a problem surfaces.
So often we hear parents of teenagers say they have no idea what is going on with their child. They complain that they don’t understand them and most definitely are not in agreement with many of the choices they see them making.
It is devastating when a teenager makes a choice that has life-changing consequences, such as drugs, pregnancy or even suicide…too often it takes something drastic to prompt parents to examine the level of communication they have with their children.
The responsibility of teaching children to communicate lies with the parent.
Parents need to consciously “steer” their relationship in a direction that will form a bond with their children that includes unconditional love, honor and respect through sharing thoughts and ideas and opinions.
The single most important thing to remember is to listen. Do not feel that you must have all the answers…it is more important for your children to know they can say anything and talk about anything without being judged or punished. Relate to what they are thinking and saying by listening and sharing.
The second thing to remember is that it is not your job to simply dictate commands for your children to obey. Nothing will break down a relationship quicker than children feeling their thoughts and opinions are unimportant.
Finally, honor your child’s individuality; respect the fact that they are their own person. Allow them to develop into who they were created to be, not a carbon copy of who you are. A successful parent will see their role as one to encourage and support their children in making their own choices and determining the best solution for them, not to dictate, control and decide for them.
The principles of the law of attraction state that what you put out will come back to you. Applying this to communicating with your children tells us that when you value and respect your children’s thoughts, ideas and opinions, they will value and respect yours.
Respect leads to trust and trust is the foundation of any successful relationship. Invite your children into your life by sharing and being honest. If you are tired from a long day at work, tell them you are tired but that you really would love to hear how their day went if they could just give you 30 minutes to rest in order to refuel your energy.
If you are struggling with something and it is appropriate, share what's on your mind. Depending on the age of your child you might even ask their opinion. Model to your children that life is not always easy but that you are confident that all things can be worked through when you have a positive mindset.
Too often parents feel the need to appear perfect in their children's minds in order to set an example for their them to strive for. The fact is that this more often than not backfires. Perceiving their parents as perfect and always having the answers serves only to create a divide because they are afraid of letting you down by not living up to your standards.
When you open the door and invite your children into the reality of who you are and what is happening in your life by sharing your thoughts, feelings and desires, they will welcome you into theirs. Raising your children in a relationship will see you and your children through any challenges life may bring.