7 Tips For Succeeding In Parent And Children Relationships
Parents-children relationships focus on parents and intending parents. It is alarming how many people teach you how to get married, whereas few teach how to relate with your children.
This piece has been written to awake the need for parents to have an excellent relationship with their children.
While children should be taught how to relate with their parents, this piece focuses more on how parents can relate with their children better.
How do you react to your children’s actions?
All relationships have a structure. All the parties in a relationship can never be on the same level. One must be higher or lower than the other. This is a principle I believe most parents are ignoring when they react to their children.
You – as a parent – is older, wiser, more educated and full of strength than your children. How you react to their actions must be from their point of view, not from your point of view.
If your child didn’t deliver your assignment, how would you react? Would you look at things from his point of view or your point of view? Would you even care about his excuse or would you just do whatever comes to your mind?
When you decide he needs to be disciplined, do you discipline him from his point of view or your point of view?
I have found myself to be so angry with my child when I find myself in such a situation that I do not consider the fact that he or she is a child. Sometimes, I just want to do something to prove I am more powerful in the relationship.
I have seen and heard many people react this way to their children too. Think about it now! Is that fair to your child? The level of insults and power in the discipline, do they deserve it? This is not to raise a happy and successful child.
When you relate with your children, you are to realize the age and class differences. React to them from their level, not your level. They are kids! They don’t know what you know! And, they do not see what you see! Their view is shorter than yours.
2. PHILOSOPHY OF SHARING
I grew up with children gathering together to eat from one plate. Whether we were two or fifteen, we were supposed to eat from one plate. My parents and most parents in Africa who do that believe they are increasing the bonds the children have.
Unfortunately, many parents still practice this today. Down the line, I have realized eating together did not affect our bond. Siblings who wanted to hate themselves will hate themselves.
Most of us younger children suffered while eating with our elderly ones. They ate more than us, and we couldn’t complain about it without the risk of falling into traps.
If you are permitting your children to practice such today, you must think about the effect on your parents-children relationship.
This is also true for how you make your children share things with you and with others.
Research recently showed over ninety percent of the children who are kidnapped didn’t resist their kidnappers. According to the research, since parents train their children to share things, children will always want to share things with people they know and don’t know. They think it is right to share as their parent taught them.
To ensure your child decipher different kinds of relationships, the concept of sharing has to be revisited. As much as we want children to value and respect others in society, we must be careful to teach our children when and how to share.
To do that, you must teach them how to eat in their plates and how to stay away from strangers. Independence is a key characteristic nature teaches children from time. Allow them to follow through.
3. SPEAKING TERMS
No one speaks to everyone the same way. The way a husband speaks to his wife differs from the way he speaks to his boss at work. The way one speaks to the attendant in an eatery and another attendant in a bus company would be different.
Communication is not just speaking. It is speaking in such a way that the other party would understand. Every parent, consciously and unconsciously, knows this. Yet, most parents speak to their children anyhow.
This is as a result of feeling that their children have no class. How else do we explain parents insulting their children when they cannot insult their bosses, at least in their presence?
What kind of child are you raising when you can talk to them without respect and even insult them while speaking to them?
Your child is not to blame if they make you angry. You are to blame for allowing them to make you angry. After all, you are the most mature in the parent and children relationship. While they are children, you are a parent.
Their five, ten or fifteen years experiences cannot make them have the understanding you have. You are older than them, therefore, you should practise emotional intelligence when you speak and not forget to realize they are only children.
Control yourself when you speak to your children. They deserve to be respected and honoured more than you might think.
4. NEED FOR INDEPENDENCE
Before he was two years old, my family and I noticed our son, Truth, was always saying ‘no’ to everything. This led us to do some google research on why children say ‘no!’ What we found out was interesting!
According to some of the articles we read, it was usual for children to say ‘no’ at age two. This, they said, was so because children learnt to do things independently from two years of age. Independently? Yes!
At 2 years of age? Yes! You might like to check it out on google too. I also advise parents to spend some time asking google questions about their children’s age and behaviours. You would be amazed at the things you would find out. You are not the only parent in the world. So, stop trying to parent your children by trial and error.
You can learn from millions of experiences, professional advice and researches online.
Back to the point. My child was learning how to be independent at age two. Interestingly, your child also learnt this before or after that age. Whatever the case, he learnt how to be independent. This proves that children need independence.
As you relate with them, recognize their need for independence and use it to your advantage. Not, shut it off! Imagine my look when I called my child and he said, ‘no!’ When I chose the cloth for him to wear, and he said ‘no!’ Sincerely, sometimes I felt like scolding and strangling the hell out of him! Having read this far, do you think I would have done him good if I did?
Parents and Guardians, as you relate with your children, never use your old age and experiences against your children. Also, never impose your view on them. At least, most of the times. Allow them to express their independence. Allow them to be independent. Follow through with them for the fun of it. They will be better for it. Besides, it would not make you go to hell!
5. TEACHING NEED
The difference between a parent and a child is mostly in what they know. When your children seem to be misbehaving, it is a lack of knowledge or the lack of capacity to remember what they have been taught that is the issue. Instead of scolding or disciplining them, teach them.
I am not saying parents should not scold or discipline their children. There are times when you must. Rather, I am saying children need to be taught, taught and taught over and again.
What makes someone a child is their ability to be taught! As parents, we are to capitalize on that. We are to teach our children over and again, in private and in public.
The problem with most parents is they never teach their children, they never have time to teach their children, and they are always so tired from work that they cannot afford to teach when the need arises. Yet, they want their children to be the best. Granted, we all want our children to know what to do, to do them, and to remember what they have been taught per time.
However, no one becomes the best without making mistakes or failing first.
The best-of-the-bests today still make mistakes.
Besides, the persons we are talking about here are kids. Kids will always be kids. They cannot remember things as you would remember. They cannot help themselves not do the things you have warned them not to do.
There is also just no how they wouldn’t place playing over certain other things. As parents, you should know, understand and value that. That’s how children learn. So, teach them instead of complaining or getting irritated.
In every given opportunity, teach your children. Speak to them as if you are teaching them. And, discipline them as one who is teaching them. You are their first and last teacher. What the world and schools would build on is what you have taught them. So, teach, teach and teach them. Teach them. Teach them what you have taught them. And, teach them over and again concerning what you have taught them.
You will not become paralyzed if you explain things to your children over and again. Even if you do, they are your children.
6. Value the process
The process of a child and that of a parent are not the same. They cannot be the same. So, as a parent, you are to value the process of your children. Let them do things themselves. Let them do things their way. And, let them take all the time they need. You should want your children to be able to do things on their own.
Though we live in a time and season when everyone has any advice on how things ought to be done. You can handle that, not your children. You have learnt how to sieve the advice the world gives you, but your children cannot do that now. Therefore, allow them to grow in the process!
Parents each contribute to the genes and chromosomes children are made up of. The things they need from you, you donated it to them as genes and chromosomes. Nevertheless, they didn’t just take those things the way you gave them. Subconsciously, they have refined them into something beautiful. They upgraded your version! So, you need to allow them to manifest!
It is funny how some mothers take so much time to dress up yet want to kill their children for taking so much time to get ready. You have learnt over time to start making up early. What you should be teaching them is to start early so they could follow their process. That way, you all will be safe and early.
If for nothing, watching your children’s process ought to be funny to you. It ought to make you laugh, not angry.
You need to improve your perception of their process and value it.
The way your son tied his shoelace should make you laugh, not become angry you have taught him several times without result. See the positivity in it. Unfortunately, some parents will say: “What do they know?” Well, they might not be able to express it better now, but they know so much.
For the fun of it, allow and value their process. Don’t help your children every time because you want them to come out the best or to be early.
There is no crime in your children choosing the cloth they want to wear for example. If the cloth isn’t appropriate, explain to them and get them to pick another one. Not, force one on them.
After all, as parents, we change clothes several times before we decide the best one to wear. So, why do you want to bring the house down over what you do and get away with?
7. Watch your DISCIPLINARY MEASURES
For many centuries now, the greatest part of parents and children relationship have focused on discipline.
Most of the memory parents have of their own parent’s today were times when their parents disciplined them. So, it is no surprise parents have been skilled in disciplining their children.
One point I have emphasized continually in this piece is: You are much older, experienced and knowledgeable than your children. Also, your psychosocial needs as an old person will differ from that of your kids. That should give you an edge over your children, and make you relate with your children the best you can.
Disciplining your children is not the only part of parents and children relationship. With some of the other points we have discussed earlier, you would notice one can relate with their children without disciplining them regularly.
I once heard a parent tell another parent: “The way to stop a child from crying too much is to discipline them when they are crying.” Although I have been a culprit of such, thinking of it again, I realized I was being the child.
Who taught us such? How did such an idea come into parenting? Has it truly worked?
Parenting is real work. One of the responsibilities of being a parent is thinking and studying. You would have to think real hard before and after you do things to/with your children. And, you would have to continually read to learn new things about children, and parenting. You have had several children is no excuse. How you brought up your first child might not be the best way to bring up your second child. Children are so important to you and the world at large that extreme care must be taken to make the best out of them.
The kidnappers, perverts, assassins, rapists, armed robbers and so on, are people’s children. They did not fall from the sky or come out of hell. At least some of them! Doug Stringer in his book Who Is Your Daddy Now, proved like many other psychologists have posed that, father complex (the lack of one parent or two in the life of a child) is the reason why some people kill, hold people for ransom, and commit other crimes.
I pray your relationship with your children will not damage them.
No one denies the need for disciplining a child. The concern, however, is on how the child is being disciplined. There are many courts and enforcers of laws looking for parents who abuse their children to use them as scapegoats for others. I have always wondered why children of developed countries who are not disciplined the way children are disciplined in some underdeveloped countries are those excelling in life. It is worth thinking about. Think about it!
Whether you flog your children, beat them up, seize their toys, ban them from certain activities or dump them in a boarding school as a discipline, let it be: One, age-appropriate. Two, explained to them so they understand why. And finally, three, without too many emotions. Don’t slap a child with all your energy or as hard as you would someone of your age. That isn’t disciplining! It is child abuse.
Being a parent means you know and have experienced life more than your children. Therefore, you have the responsibility to relate better with your child. Unfortunately, most parents are expecting their children to relate with them in ways the children have not learnt how to. It is no doubt why most parents and children relationship cause frustration, quarrels, rivalries and even marriage problems. The older must be responsible for the younger.
As a parent, below are some of the principles of relationships I have learnt which are pertinent to relating with my children. Think about them. Apply them. And, meditate on the actions of your children enough to come up with better ways to relate with them. Granted, parenting is different from one child to another. However, there are still universal rules every parent can apply. Outshine your past.