What may damage your relationship with your child?
Parenting is a tough job. Children are not born with an instruction manual, and every child is different. Many times, we do our best to forge a strong bond with our children. However, there are five things that parents do which may damage parent and child relationships, even as they seem harmless or commonplace.
1. Constant criticism and comparison
It is natural to want our children to become better. However, constant nitpicking over their mistakes and comparing them with other children may hurt your child’s self-esteem, and their self-confidence may be affected.
It is important to correct your child’s behaviour, but you should focus on teaching, not criticism. Teach your child what to do and focus on what they’re doing right.
The world can be full of dangers, and it is only natural for parents to be protective over their children and take precautions. However, some parents may go overboard in their well intentions.
Helicopter parenting creates children who live in a bubble and sheltered. These children do not learn how to be independent, and may not learn self-confidence. It is important to let our children taste failure from time to time, yet not compromising on their safety.
3. Prioritizing other things over children
The list of things to do never ends, be it household chores, job requirements, or errands. Not making time for your child and constantly putting other things before your child may hurt your relationship.
Set aside time for your children every day without any distractions. Put your phone down, turn off the television or other electronic devices, and spend quality, uninterrupted time with your child on a regular basis.
4. Not listening when your child is talking
Your child may want to tell you things that may not interest you, but you shouldn’t pretend to listen. Children can sense whether you are truly listening. If you are busy at the moment, ask your child if he or she can wait till you are able to give your full attention. Explain to your child that you will get back to listening to him or her, and make sure you follow through.
Discussing different topics that your child is interested in is a great way to strengthen your relationship. This encourages them to feel comfortable communicating with you in the future.
5. Lashing out at your child
It is ok to get angry from time to time, but taking it out on your kids is not healthy. Raising your voice, name-calling, and saying nasty things shows your child a bad example on dealing with anger and also fosters fear, instead of love.
If you lose control of your emotions and act out in anger, apologize to your child right away. Tell them what you should have done instead, and explain to them calmly.