Improving Parent Child Relationships

21
Apr
2014

 Improve-Parent-Child-Relationship
There are those days were it can feel like all the communication we have with our kids is to give instruction, deal with discipline and shuffling them on to the next task.  It can be exhausting and leave you feeling a bit empty, as well as your child.

Creating relationships with our kids is extremely important – it is necessary to be intentional, focused and be curious about who they are and what they think.

One of the biggest take aways I got when I went to the Hearts at Home Conference a few weeks ago was this revelation to me given by Dr. Kathy Koch – who by the way is an extremely talented author, speaker and plain full of incredible wisdom for parents.  She co-authored Jill Savage’s new book, “No More Perfect Kids,” and has several of her own on my reading list!

“We need to learn to raise the kids we were given, not the ones we wish we were given.”

This really struck a cord for me and the relationship and struggle I’ve been having in my own mind with my youngest.  I just have not been the type of mommy that he needs and I am determined to change.  Actually when I think about it, I have had the same struggle at different times in my life with different kids.  Why does it seem we often desire something other than what God felt was right for us?

I am great at coming up with routine, setting expectations and getting things crossed off the list, but when it comes to really getting inside his little mind……not a strength for me.  I think there was a time where I was much better at this with my older kids than I am now.

Perhaps I am not alone?

The Importance of Communicating with Kids

Often, as parents, we talk to our kids but it is frequently a one-sided conversation.  We talk at them….but are we really having a back and forth conversation?  Rarely.

There are those days were it can feel like all the communication we have with our kids is to give instruction, deal with discipline and shuffling them on to the next task.  It can be exhausting and leave you feeling a bit empty, and I am sure your child feels the same.

Creating relationships with our kids is extremely important – it is necessary to be intentional, focused and be curious to know who they are and what they think.  Two-way communication is much better because you will have:

  • Less chance of risky behavior
  • You know what your child is thinking
  • You know what your child is doing
  • You can influence your child
  • You teach them healthy emotional behavior

There is that saying – we as parents don’t ever want to be “friends” with our kids, rather we want to be their parent.  I agree with that phrase, but I know for myself…..I do need to be their friend in a certain sense of the word.  I need to learn to connect with them on their level, to show interest and engage. 

I can easily become wrapped up in my day and what I need to accomplish and completely forget or neglect  {Hangs head} the relationship with my kids.  Ugh, that is ugly to admit, but I do.  I find myself just a little too busy to stop and listen or sit down and play that game of Candyland.

So what can you do?  Maybe a few of the ideas I am working in will help you?

1.  Set aside 10 minutes intentionally to do whatever THEY want.  This can be so very hard for a task orientated driven mom.

2.  Read together, regardless of their age – maybe it is a book, perhaps a newspaper or article on the internet.  But sit next to them and connect and converse about a topic, depending on their age.

3.  Linger at the table – don’t always be in a rush to move onto the next thing.  Some of the best conversations we have as a family are around the dinner table.  It is true…. we just are more relaxed and everyone feels included.

4.  One on one time.  This is not a new idea, “dates with your kids” is something that has been around for awhile.  But when you have more than a couple kids, it can seem a bit daunting, especially when you factor in scheduling.  But it is important and I am trying to rebuild this into my schedule.

Kids are people too and when we treat them as such, they gain a positive sense of who they are and also respect for what we have to teach them.  The relationship we can create while they are living inside our four walls will truly blossom once they leave our protection too….one thing I am learning by having one already flown the coop and another one on his way very quickly.  🙂

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