Building a good relationship with your child is not as daunting of a task as it may seem. There seems to be a myth that you cannot be a good parent and friend to your child, but I believe to be a good parent you must also develop many of the same attributes as a good friendship. What is a good friendship based on?
Having Fun Together
Spending Time Together
Solving Problems Together
Generally Liking Each Other
Doesn’t that sound like the kind of relationship you would like to have with your child? Of course, a parent also has the responsibility for a child’s health and safety, which requires rule setting and the discipline to enforce those rules, so there are differences between a parent-child friendship and a peer-peer friendship.
However, the bonds that you build with your child are what make it possible to be a strong influence in your child’s decision-making process. They won’t be making the right choices only because they know it is what you want, but because it is what they want and feel is right. This is how you set your child up for long-term success and help them use their spirit to become champions of their own lives.
STRATEGIES TO BUILD A PARENT-CHILD FRIENDSHIP
- Play together at least ten minutes every day: board games, sports, computer or video games, roughhousing, creative play, acting, watching TV, movies, or plays together, reading together, laughing together, water play, and more.
- Treat your child with respect, just as you expect him to treat you with respect.
- Know your child’s interest and show interest in them.
- Teach your child skills and let her teach you.
- Avoid discouraging acts such as personality attacks, focusing on mistakes, showing a lack of confidence, expecting too much, and valuing your child only for her behavior.
- Learn to encourage by building on strengths, showing confidence, setting realistic goals, and valuing the child for herself.
- Say no when necessary, but avoid hard no’s when possible and help the child find acceptable alternatives.
- Find something in your child that delights you!
Excerpted from E-book: The Smoke Free Spirited Child
Pioneer educator Dr. Michael Popkin, the longtime spokesman for Lorillard’s Youth Smoking Prevention Program, Real Parents, Real Answers, is the founder of Active Parenting Publishers and is the author of many award winning video-based parenting education programs.An expert in his field, Dr. Popkin earned a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Georgia State University and has served as Director of Child and Family Services at an Atlanta hospital. http://www.realparentsrealanswers.com