Approaches to Developing Positive Parent-Child Relationships
Few relationships have the strength of the bond between a parent and a child, as long as the relationship is a healthy one. Some scientists believe that the reason many people find infants or small animals like puppies "cute" is an entirely scientific one. Whatever the resons may be, there is no disputing the strength of the bond that exists between parent and child.
Infants have evolved a certain cuteness to make their parents more inclined to nurse that special bond. But what you're probably more interested in is not the reason for this special bond, but the various ways you can strengthen that relationship in the long-term.
Strengthening the Parent-Child Relationship
As a parent, you'll likely seek out many complex ways to show your love for your child or reconnect with a distant one. But the solutions are often far less complex than you might think. For example, one of the best ways to strengthen a parent-child relationship is with respect, especially respect for taste and choices. You might not always appreciate the clothes your child wears or the choices they make, but it's important to understand that children struggle to find independence starting at a very young age. Attempting to stifle this independence can lead to issues.
It's also important to let your children help you once in a while. Whether the help is with household chores or a simple fun task, asking your child to assist you can make them feel important. Best of all, it allows for valuable one-on-one time with your child to develop a strong relationship. Asking for help lets your child (or even parent) know that you valuable his or her opinion. It should go without saying that being open to your child's decision is crucial to making the most of the situation.
Finally, as with all loving relationships, sharing a secret or opening up about your own childhood can strengthen a parent-child relationship. All relationships require a certain level of trust and trustworthiness. You don't have to reinvent yourself as having a "sordid past" to get respect. Simply using an example from your own life to help your child work through a similar situation can be enough.
Tensions in Parent-Child Relationships
A study performed with support of the National Institutes of Health explored the tensions that can arise in parent-child relationships with what they called "typical results." As you might expect, if you feel some tension in the relationship with your parent (or child), you're far from alone. In fact, 94% of the participants in the study reported at least some tension on a variety of topics in this relationship. Curiously, however, the tension was far more noticeable on the parents' side, especially as children got older. Some of the most common issues that caused the tension were finances and housekeeping.
As you might have guessed, you will probably experience some tension with your parent or child on any number of issues. The important thing is to not let the tension become a long-term conflict, and to understand that the tension can and must pass to continue a health relationship.
Other findings of the study included that parents often had a closer relationship and more frequent contact with daughters than sons. But this often resulted in more tension with daughters, as the closer contact meant more opportunities for tension to develop.
Have you recently gone through a fight or experienced some tension with your child or parent? Products like those from LifePath Unlimited can give you the advice and support you need to get through these difficult situations. Packages are also available for parent-child seminars and getaways.
Please contact us if you would like more information on ways to build, or rebuild, a bond between yourself and your parent or child.