PARENT-CHILD TIES: BRIDGING THE GAP
Parent-Child Ties: Bridging the Gap
The most beautiful yet complicated relation amongst all relationships is between a parent and a child. It is said to be beautiful as it involves many shades of emotions and feelings like love, nurturance, care and affection in early years and gradually becomes complicated with the growing age of their children. As a clinician I came across many cases where parents reported relational issues with their children but surprisingly the cases turned out to be problematic on the part of parents themselves. Saying that does not support that parents blame their children for their own faults. It simply conveys that sometimes parents are unable to realize small mistakes causing ruptures in their relationship and creating gaps between them and their children. This article is an attempt to refocus parents towards small steps that can do wonders for bridging that gap and improve the quality of relationship with their children. Following are some very simple yet effective techniques that can be followed to smoothen parent child ties:
o Learn to listen your child: Listening is very important and especially when you deal with kids or teenagers. Let your children feel that there is someone who is ready to listen their worries. Remember, unless you become a good listener you won’t be able to understand their problems. Also, let them complete what they want to say. Don’t interrupt in between.
o State your expectations clearly to the child: Every family has a set of rules and every member is supposed to follow them. Sometimes parents want their children to learn and behave according to their age. We commonly hear statements like “you are big enough to understand this and you should behave accordingly”. But, don’t you think it is your responsibility to tell your children what you actually expect from them rather than expecting them to understand everything automatically!
o Set clear boundaries: Every child deserves a certain amount of freedom but there should be clear line that indicates how much can be allowed for the sake of freedom and independence. Boundaries need to be set according to family rules and children need to be well informed about them.
o Saying sorry will not put you down: If anything goes wrong from your side in the relationship there is no harm in saying sorry to your children. A simple word can do wonders. We expect our younger ones to be sorry when they do something wrong and it usually works. Similarly it can resolve the issue from our side also and there is nothing to be ashamed about.
o Appreciate honesty: It is important to respect and appreciate your child’s honesty. If your children admit that they have done something wrong, praise them first for making an honest effort to tell you about that and then humbly talk to them about the issue. If there is something that need to be solved, sit together and work out a solution. If you feel that the issue need to be tackled strictly there is no harm in being verbally strict also but don’t forget to appreciate your child to be honest.
o Parenting needs consistency: Parenting involves both parents and there should be consistency in their approach. If both behave differently and follow different rules it will confuse the child. Make sure that both parents agree on a single set of rules and teach accordingly to the child.
o Never break promises: If you give a task to your children and promise them a gift after its accomplishment, never run away from your promise. Breaking promises breaks trust also and no relationship works well without trust.
o Don’t give up: If something need to be told consistently go ahead and keep doing that. If a child can commit a mistakes hundred times, be ready to remind correct practice for hundred times. Be a support system for your children and correct them every time it is needed.
o Take initiative: Sometimes your child may not initiate to talk to you regarding certain issues. If you know that there is some issue your child is upset about, don’t hesitate to take initiative and have a good conversation on that. Sometimes children don’t know how to bring something in notice of parents. In that case, they require help and support. Your one initiative can help them to open up with you and discuss their problems.
These are some very easy and wonderful tactics that can heal the parent-child issues and help to retain a soothing relationship. Please share with other parents to help them to carry forward a smooth relationship with their children. If you have any query related to this article or any other psychological issue feel free to write me back on my email ID.
Consultant Clinical Psychologist