Friday, February 1, 2008

The Foundations of a Good Parent-Child Relationship

Through the years that I have been a parent, I have learned that parenting is a lifelong learning process. Experience has taught me valuable lessons on the foundations of a good parent-child relationship. That doesn't make me an expert, I know, but younger parents might benefit from them. So here goes:
  1. RESPECT-This is the cornerstone of any relationship. Our children need to feel that we respect them as individuals and as human beings. We need to remember that our children are unique and are different from us. And we need to respect that. We cannot impose on them our beliefs, our style, our dreams. They have to be allowed to have their own, be their own person. Just as we expect our children to respect us, we need to respect them, too.
  2. COMMUNICATION-We have to keep the lines of communication open between ourselves and our children. Each child is unique so we need to know our children well. Some children do not open up. We have to learn to listen to them even when they have not said a word. Most of the time, we can see, through their actions, if something is bothering them. Let them know you are there for them. When they are good and ready, they almost always come to you for help. Also, we need to be careful what we say to our children. We should not be over-critical when they fumble. We should know how to say things so that we do not offend them. When we criticize them often, we are in danger of damaging their self-esteem. Knowing their worth as human beings is an important foundation of their personality. It is the backbone of their existence. So we should not, in any way, be the one to damage that.
  3. TIME-My world revolves around my children. In that, I am blessed. But I know not all moms are as fortunate as I am. There are millions of moms out there who are missing out on their children because they need to work. But this is not an excuse. We need to make time for our children. My mom used to take us with her to her office when we were children just so we can have some quality time together. She would schedule out-of-town trips with us so we can have time to bond. Even when she had live-in seminars she would insist on getting a room for us in the hotel where they were staying so that we could be together in the evenings. Otherwise, we would be at risk of alienating our children from us. We will not be able to get to know them if we don't spend time with them.
Parenting is a big responsibility. We should take it seriously. Every step of the way, we should think about our response to the smallest things. Although we parents are their first teachers, I have found that I have actually learned, and continue to learn from my children. Ultimately, my guide to effective parenting has been myself. Whenever I am in a situation which I am unsure about, I think back to the time when I was a child and how I felt back then. And I respond from there.


Carol said...

I could not possibly think of a responsiblity more awesome then raising a child - especially in this day and time. Thankfully, my son is 32 and doing well. Not necessarily because of anything I did but it's all good :)
Thanks for visiting my Site - My View of it and for taking the time to comment.
Great work you're doing here!
I have added you to my Blogroll and to my Technorati favorites so I can find you again.

JO-N said...

Hi Gigi. Thanks for dropping by my blog. I will add you to my blogroll. By the way, which country are you from?

I like this post. I think many parents fail to respect their children and they want their children to do what they want.

Really, it's not easy being a mother but it's worth all the effort.

Amel's Realm said...

SUPERB!!! THANK YOU for writing this. I don't have a kid yet but I LOVE reading parenting tips to help me prepare myself when the time comes he he he...;-D

Colorado Baby Cares said...

Wow, you have hit the nail right on the head with this post :)
Returning your visit to my blog and yes I would love to exchange links with you,
Have a Blessed day and weekend ahead,
C-Baby here4u

livin' with me said...

This is an excellent post. To a mom to a 15 month old it's full of excellent advice!!