Loving parents create loving children. Your relationship with your children and how attached you are to them indicates how the child is going to be in the future. Your children who grow with a secure and healthy attachment to their parents stand a better chance of developing happy and content relationships with others in their life. A child who has a secure relationship with parents learns to regulate emotions under stress and in difficult situations. It promotes the child’s mental, linguistic and emotional development. It helps the child exhibit optimistic and confident social behaviors. Healthy parent involvement and intervention in child’s day to day life lay the foundation for better social and academic skills. A secure attachment leads to a healthy social, emotional, cognitive , and motivational development. Children also gain strong problem solving skills when they have a positive relationship with their parents. The relationship between parents and children not only needs to be strong but also flexible because you can’t behave with a ten year old in the same way you behave with a three year old.
PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP AT VARIOUS STAGES
Parenting is a full time job with perks and challenges that grow as the child grows. Here, we take a look at the parent child relationship at various stages :
- TODDLERHOOD – When the child becomes a toddler, the focus is on shaping the child’s behavior by teaching, guiding, and nurturing them. Parents facilitate the socialization process subtly during the first two years and prepare the child to fit into a social group or the society at large.
- SCHOOL AGE – When the child starts elementary school, there is a shift in the focus from parents to peers, but this does not change the dynamics of the parent child relationship. With the child’s increasing cognitive and social skills, they goes beyond the home setting. This is the time when the communication becomes two way. The child is a position to tell the parent what he wants, and express his likes and dislikes. Your parenting style will decide if the communication will be two way or a one way. Parenting styles remain the same as the child grows and the style used in the preschool age continues to affect even in the middle childhood age.
- ADOLESCENCE – Teenage is a turbulent and vulnerable phase, which brings about physical and psychological changes in the child. Parents should acknowledge and understand their teen’s needs, support them, and give them the freedom they new without being overly controlling. Parents with love and acceptance by adopting a positive approach even during challenging times can be an effective way to guide teenagers.
- ADULTHOOD – Adulthood is the time when stability starts setting in. The parent and the grown up child are now able to relate to each other. Adult children are sometimes torn between their personal and aged parents. It can be quite stressful to balance the two. However, most adults do maintain a healthy relationship with their parents. The requirement and priorities of one family are different from those of another. For instance, the bond you share with your child may not be the same as the one your friend shares with their child. This means that your type of parent child bond is different from that of your friend.
PRINCIPLES OF PARENT CHILD RELATIONSHIP –
- SET SOME PARENTING GOALS- Whether you want to raise a healthy and disciplined child or have a healthy parent child relationship, identify your goals and understand what you need to do to achieve them.
- BRING IN WARMTH AND STRUCTURE IN YOUR INTERACTIONS- Treat every interaction as an opportunity to connect with your child. Be a warm and receptive parent, who encourages interaction. structure your interaction by having rules, boundaries, and consequences in place and ensure that your children understand them.
- GROUND RULES ARE A MUST- Ground rules tell your children how to and how to behave. Rules have to be set by discussing with the child, coming to a mid point between the parents’ and the child’s needs. You can firmly implement such rules which are comfortable and meaningful to both. But having too many rules is not a good idea.
- ACKNOWLEDGE AND EMPATHIZE WITH YOUR CHILD- Whether it’s a happy or difficult situation, acknowledge your child’s feelings, understand them, and reassure them that they can depend on you to solve all their problems.
- TAKE A PROBLEM SOLVING APPROACH TO CONFLICTS- When your child has a problem, try to look for a solution instead of punishing your child. Punishments demoralize your child and they lose trust in you. But when you work with them to find a solution, they also learn.
ACTIVITIES THAT HELP IN PARENT CHILD BONDING –
- POSITIVELY REINFORCE YOUR CHILDREN EVERY DAY- It can be by words “very good” or a physical gesture such as a part on the back or hug. The experience of early interpretation touch is linked with self esteem, life satisfaction, and social competence in the later years of the child. It also positively affects the child’s physical and psychological development.
- PLAY WITH THEM- Become a child when you are playing with your kids. This allows them to cooperate with you. Indulge in activities such as building Lego sets or pretend-play with the little ones, or pair up for video games or a game of basketball or cricket.
- LAUGH TOGETHER- Parenting doesn’t always have to be serious. Sharing a few lighter moments help in building some great memories.
- HAVE ONE ON ONE INTERACTION- Take time out from your daily lives to interact with them about their needs and how they plan to meet them. Have some parent child time every day to express your love for them, play with them together and do something together.
- LIVE THE MOMENT- From the moment your children wake up till the time you put them to bed enjoy the moments with them. Be present, enjoy, and live the moment. There can’t be anything more fulfilling than that.