January 27, 2020

Making Your Relationships With Your Kids Work

Like any relationship, in parent/child relationships communication is key. The most common problem between parents and their children is that neither seem terribly keen to listen. Children forget that their parents are people too, and that just because they make mistakes doesn’t make them a horrible parent. Parents don’t see that their kids aren’t just growing physically, but mentally as well rapidly, every day. They have a deeper understanding of things than a lot of parents know. Following is a list of tips for parents to make your relationship work better:

  1. Take a step back. Like plants, children need plenty of room to grow. If you smother them too much they’ll fail to develop properly, and ultimately end up overly dependent on you. It may seem blissful to have a unquestionably obedient child, but later on you’ll see that it was a mistake, when they are unable to function without you. Even then, it might sound nice to still be needed. But you won’t always be there, and an adult calling their mommy ten times a day for the most basic of decisions is something you’ll soon get sick of. Balance is key! Guide them enough that they don’t get completely lost and mark harmful decisions, but allow them enough freedom of decision that they become properly independent.
  2. Live a little! Yes, it’s tough with such a busy schedule but you need to make time for the important things in life and that is your children. But 5 to 10 minutes of your day spent playing in the sprinkler with your child or drawing silly chalk faces on the sidewalk is worth having a closer relationship, isn’t it? If you get home after dark and it’s too late to hang out with them, tell them a story before they sleep.  Make a little nighttime tradition so they know they’re cared for, you’ll enjoy the time with them too.
  3. Try to understand. Particularly with the teenage child, what you see is not what you get. At all. People are very sensitive, and when they’re children they cry. When they’re teenagers they hurt, put on a calloused exterior of a shell and hide. They may seem like a horribly behaved hellion, insensitive and unkind, but it’s likely they’re just trying to protect themselves from pain and/or disappointment.  That’s why it’s very important to interact with your children calmly, yelling, broken promises and the like can cause a shattering of trust, and you’ll stop seeing the real person your child is. If this has already happened, do your best to fix the situation. Avoid raising your voice in the future. Don’t promise to do things if you think you might back out should it become inconvenient.
  4. Talk to them. When a child asks, “Why?” “Because I said so” will hardly satisfy them. Imagine if your boss or someone said that to you. Children deserve to know why they’re asked to do things. They’re actually capable of being quite reasonable, and if the answer makes sense to them they may very well do what you say willingly! Doesn’t that sound better than a full-blown argument, full of frustration, tantrums and tears?

Don’t be too hard on yourself. A lot is asked of parents, and if you’re reading this it’s probably because you think you need help. Maybe you feel inadequate. Remember that the most important thing in being a parent is that you try. There’s no cookie-cutter parent that everyone should be. Though there are things you can incorporate into your behavior around your children, every parents and child are different; therefore your happy-medium of interaction will be different. If you’re doing your best, it is enough.

Tools for strengthening relationships

If you are like me, you have probably found it difficult to strengthen the romantic relationships in your life. You love a person but you don’t know quite how to improve your relationship with them. With all the business of life it can be difficult to dedicate time and energy to strengthening a relationship. Most people just find some sort of status quo and live with it. They find life too overwhelming to focus on drastically improving their relationship. However, when we don’t try to improve our relationships they tend to fall into problems. The marriage seems to become stale and boring. Like so many things in life, when the marriage stops growing it tends to die. It will take effort and patience to strengthen your relationship with a spouse, but it will be worth it in the long run. So what are some tools for strengthening your relationships?

There are a number of ways to strengthen relationships and only some of them will work for you and your spouse. Realize that because your situation is unique you will have to be the one to figure out what works best. It will probably require some experimentation and effort to finally come up with a strategy that will move you forward.

One common tool for strengthening any relationship is spending time together. If you don’t spend time together you really don’t have  relationship, and the more time spent together the better. Obviously with the demands that modern life places on so many of us it can be difficult to find lots of time to spend together, but if you can set aside at least one night a week you will greatly improve your marriage. A date night is a very effective tool for strengthening a relationship, but it only works if you plan the date carefully. Because you will only have a limited amount of time to spend together you need to make that time exciting and pleasurable. Sit down each week and plan your date with your spouse. Date planning time can also be a good time to spend with each other.

Another very important tool for strengthening any relationship is communication. Communication means more than just having a conversation-although this is very important as well. Communication means that you share important information about your thoughts and feeling with each other. You talk about your hopes and dreams, and about exciting new ideas. Most relationships are based on some sort of shared interests or a passion for similar hobbies or ideas. You need to continue to look for things to share and make these passions a major part of the marriage. You also need to find ways to communicate things that are difficult or unpleasant. Often people think that they will frighten or scare their friends or spouse if they tell them about their problems. However, it is often when people share their deepest and darkest secrets that they can form a bond of trust with another person. Your marriage will only go as deep as you allow it to go-if you keep it on the surface it will only stay there.

Another important tool is frequent displays of affection. You need to show your spouse that you love them as often as possible. This could take various forms, such as hugs, or simply saying that you love them. Marriages that succeed are often the ones where spouses’ communicate their affection openly. If your spouse does not know that you love them they will find it very difficult to love you in return.