This is a guest post submitted by Claire Adams, a personal development expert
Being a parent is very demanding and it’s probably one of the most stressful tasks people encounter in their lifetime. Helping your child grow and develop and adjusting to the changes in both your and your child’s life is quite complex, which means mistakes are unavoidable at some stage.
Still, even if we don’t always do a perfect job as parents, it doesn’t mean that our children won’t grow up to be decent and honest human beings.
Creating a strong relationship with our children is the most important task each parent faces, since every person needs an honest, open and loving relationship with someone throughout their life, and who is more suitable to be at the other end than a parent? So, let’s take a look at some aspects and tips on how to build a great relationship with your children, which might help you create a mutual benefit.
If you wish to have a healthy relationship with anyone, especially your children, you need to make sure you don’t become overwhelmed or simply burn out. Children, with or without special needs, are a challenge.
Some parents get so focused on helping their children, that it makes them highly stressed out and we all know that stress has a devastating effect on both mental and physical health.
The situation gets even more difficult if we talk about parenting children with disabilities because of the stress. Those parents are much more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression, and their marriage is also more likely to end with a divorce.
That’s why it’s vital not to put too much weight on your shoulders and to stop being too focused on your children; especially if you’re one of those parents who are on a constant alert when it comes to children.
Control your ambition
OK, you are ambitious and want to teach your child to set great goals, starting with getting into a reputable college. That’s all understandable and natural, but you need to take a step back and ask yourself whether you yourself are capable and ready to be there for them every step of the way. If you believe you are, but things start going in a wrong direction, you’ll start doubting both the capacity of your children and their commitment.
They are supposed to take UMAT or GAMSATs and you start panicking. Relax! The most important thing is to have faith in your children and their abilities. Ask a friend or someone who’s gone through the same process about their experiences. That way, you might learn something that will, in turn, help your children learn better.
Take it easy
We often need to slow things down, step back and reflect on our own reactions in order to get a clear view of our life. The same attitude should be applied to children, who mustn’t be pushed to do things too fast and with a result that would satisfy us. The fact that a four-year-old has put on their shirt backwards should definitely not be the reason for you to get upset and start the day frustrated.
Instead, we should give our children enough time, i.e. organize their day in such a way that they have enough time to complete all the tasks without too much unnecessary stress. Failure to meet their parents’ expectation will undoubtedly frustrate them, which is quite damaging in the long run.
Listen to your children
If you want your children to succeed, you need to realize the importance of taking a breath and listening to what your child is trying to communicate to you. They might be trying to tell you how they feel, what they need and what makes them uncomfortable and if you fail to appreciate that, they’ll simply stop talking to you eventually.
If you allow your children to express themselves, they’ll also learn that they should allow other people, including their future children, an opportunity to say what they think and how they feel. The more you talk and listen to your children, the more emphatic they’ll become, which will prepare them for their future life.
Nobody is perfect
This is something that parents need to accept and internalize. We serve as role models for children, who model their behavior based on ours, which means putting too much strain on ourselves will be reflected in their behavior.
This will, of course, lead to frustration when inevitable failures occur and your children will start doubting themselves. This means a loss of self-confidence and growing indifference, which will be very difficult obstacles to overcome.
Show them they are safe with you
When your child is upset, the first thing you need to do is calm them down and help them relax, before you start helping them solve whatever problem they might have. That will show them that they can trust you and that your relationship is a safe haven, where they can feel secure and thrive.
If they receive such a treatment from you, they’ll try to emulate it in their relationships with other people in their life. We should not forget that the most important role of a parent is to prepare their children for their future life and that everything we do is likely to be replicated.
The most important thing is to avoid knee-jerk reactions and allow yourself some time to think about what is in the best interest of your child. Also, we need to avoid creating stressful and tense situations as much as possible, because they create too much stress, which can have a really negative effect on everyone.
Finally, adjust your expectation to suit your child’s interests and capacity in order to avoid frustration when some unattainable goal is not reached.
A frustrated child becomes a frustrated parent and a vicious circle is created before you know it. So, relax, take it easy and learn as much as possible about your children to create the best possible relationship with them.
About the Author
Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. You can find her online writing and giving tips about lifestyle and development as a regular contributor at highstylife.com.
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