Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Parent and Child Relationships: Making Positive Changes (and Why You Should)

Parenting is something that is so fulfilling and such a wonderful adventure. But because it is the job of teaching someone to learn to navigate this world by themselves, then it can be a journey that is a little daunting and frustrating. It can be something that brings out the best and the worst in someone. We can do everything possible, from trying different parenting advice and hacks, to then going to classes to learn about how to raise our children in a better way. But really, in the end, everything comes down to the kind of relationship with your child that you create; the better the relationship is as parents and children, the better the upbringing of the children can be. So, how can you make sure that you are able to strengthen the parent-child relationship that you have? Here are some advice and tips on what you can do to help you to strengthen the bond between a parent and their child.

Understanding the Parent-Child Relationship

A parent and child relationship is one of the things that can nurture the physical, emotional, and social development of your child. It is a unique bond that all children and their parents can have, and hopefully enjoy that relationship, as well as nurture it. This parent and child relationship can also lay a foundation for the child in a whole host of ways. From the child’s personality, the choices that they make, and how they behave, can all be a part of it. In fact, studies have suggested that having a healthy parent and child relationship helps to lead to some really positive outcomes for the children and the family as a whole. So it is really important to make sure that you take time to establish a positive relationship with your children, as it can really make a difference to all of you.

Why Is A Positive Parent and Child Relationship Important?
If you are a loving parent, then the chances are much higher that you are going to create loving children. The relationship that you have with your children, and how attached they are to you, can be an indication of how things will go in the future, and what they will be like in the relationships that they go on to have. It can also impact the strength of your child’s social abilities, physical health, mental health, and emotional health. So again, there is so much indicating why having a positive parent and child relationship is such a good thing. With that in mind, here are some more of the positive outcomes that come from a positive and healthy parent and child relationship.

  • Young children who feel secure and grow up feeling attached to their parents in a healthy way, really can help them to stand a much better chance in life of developing happy and content relationships as they are young, and as they grow up. They see what positive relationships feel like, and can take that with them as they grow up.

  • A child who grows up with a secure relationship with their parents will learn more readily how to regulate their emotions, especially under stress and in some difficult situations. The pressures on children in modern day and age can be quite high. So if they are able to cope better and deal with those stressors, then it can only be a good thing.

  • As a child grows, we help to teach them a whole host of different things, from how to speak, to how to tie their shoelaces. But if your children have a good parent and child relationship, then it can help to promote positivity with the child’s mental health, as well as their linguistic and emotional development. So having those early bonds can help them to grow and develop much more easily.

  • Not only does having a parent and child relationship help when they are young, but it can also play a massive part when they are older as well. It can establish some really good communication between the two of you, and can help to keep that open as you get older. From conversations about things like going to a senior activity center as you get older, to them being able to share their thoughts and feelings around their mental health, for example. So having a positive parent and child relationship can help in an early age, as well as later in life.

  • A positive outcome from a healthy parent and child relationship can be that your child can be able to exhibit some optimistic and confident social behaviors. If they feel safe and secure at home, then it can be such a positive thing for their lives, and can feel confidence in themselves. That can make their life in school a little easier, as well as developing friendships of their own.

  • If there is a healthy parent involvement with children as they grow, then intervention into the child’s day-to-day life can lay down the foundation for better social skills, as well as academic skills.

  • If there is a secure attachment for children, then it can lead to healthy social development, emotional development, cognitive development, and motivational development. Children can also gain some problem-solving skills when they have been found to have a positive relationship with their parents. 

The relationship that a parent has with their children is something that not only should be something that is strong in their life, but something that is also flexible. Things need to change as you go on, as you can’t have the same relationship with your child when they are four years old, to when they are eleven years old, for example. 

Parent and Child Relationship at Various Ages

Parenting is something that is full-time and never stops, and it can come with different perks, as well as different challenges. So here are some things to think about, when building a relationship with your child, at all different stages in life. 

  • Infancy: all about building warmth and security

For the first six months, babies mostly cry, sleep, eat, pee, and poop. And in response, parents will mostly just be catering to those needs, rather than doing many other things. These interactions from your child lead to different expectations. When the baby is hungry, then your baby will show you that they are ready to eat, and so on. These things help to develop a really secure attachment between parent and child. 

  • Toddlerhood: all about stepping into social environments

When your baby moves from baby to a toddler, then the focus is on shaping the child’s behavior, by teaching them, nurturing them, and guiding them. Parents should be facilitating the process of socializing their child in subtle ways, which will help them to fit into a social group and to be involved in society in general.

  • Preschool: all about developing a parenting style

After being a parent for a number of years, there will be different parenting styles that will emerge. You might find that you have a preferred one, or that your child responds best to a certain way of doing things. The thing is, though, you can’t use one particular parenting style consistently in all situations. So make sure that you are using a combination of strategies to raising your child. 

Research has shown that children that experience different parenting styles will react in different ways. For example:

  • Children of authoritative parents tend to be confident, happy, and focused.
  • Children of permissive parents can tend to lack social skills, be more irresponsible, and not be able to regulate their emotions very well.
  • Children with neglectful parents have tend to have more behavioral and psychological problems than those raised with different parenting styles. 

  • School age: all about learning about a world beyond that at home

When your child starts school, then there is a real shift in focus from the parents and it being all about what parents think, to then suddenly paying a lot of attention to their peers. But if all things are going well, it shouldn’t impact the parent and child relationship at this stage. This is a time when communication between the two of you becomes a two-way thing, and you can talk about likes and dislikes, as well as talking about feelings. 

  • Adolescence: all about giving personal space

Raising teens can be a turbulent time, with a lot of different things going on, and it can bring out some physical and psychological changes in your child. So as a parent, you should learn to acknowledge and then understand the needs of your teenager, supporting them, and being able to give them the freedom that they need to be without being controlling. Parenting teens with love and acceptance, by choosing to adopt a more positive approach, even when the times get tough during the teen years, can be an effective way to guide them during this time.

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