Parenting Tips to Repair Relationship with Your Child
The parent’s relationship with children is one of the most critical facets of a human’s life. It provides a foundation for healthy development during adolescence and often lasts into adulthood. Though no relationship is perfect, it is imperative that we take the time to repair our relationship with our children, no matter what their age is! As they grow older, it becomes much more challenging to do so. Having difficult conversations with our children is something that many parents struggle with. And, since we’ve always seen our own elders shying away from such topics, we’ve started considering it taboo ourselves.
It’s not easy to admit when we make mistakes. Our first instinct might be to deny, rationalize, or justify what went wrong. It can also be said that we’re afraid to admit our mistakes for fear that our children’s perception of our authority may diminish. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Our kids don’t need us to be experts. They need us to be their confidants—someone they can count on to stick with them as they explore new experiences and confront challenges on their own terms.
Why it’s important to own up to your errors?
When we come to terms with the mistakes we have made with our children, they not only feel better about themselves, but they also learn that making mistakes is natural. What is important is that we take responsibility for any damage caused. This will teach them to accept responsibility if they do something out of bounds. As they say, when you accept something, it is fairly easy to move on.
Our children learn a lot from us when we apologize for our mistakes. They see that we’re taking responsibility for our own behavior and that we’re owning up to our actions. They understand that they can make things right if they want to. Our children feel respected and loved when we make an effort to apologize to them. This also teaches them to give respect, love, and compassion to others. It helps them become more emotionally stable and understanding of other people’s feelings.
The most challenging part of repairing a relationship with children is to own up to our own errors. And once we’ve done that, it’s time to start taking active steps in doing so. But how?
Here are a few tips on how to repair a relationship with your child:
- Apologize without expectations: Owning up to our mistakes is the most crucial part of repairing the relationship with teenagers, pre-teens, or even toddlers. It must be kept in mind that we need to follow through with the apology without assuming that our kid’s attitude will change. We can’t control how fast they’ll get over it. They may take longer to let go of their hurt than we want them to. Still, we must own up to our part. With older children, it’s important that we also apologize to them for mistakes we’ve made with them in the past. After all – it’s better late than never!
- Be a role model: It is our parental responsibility to take the lead and do everything within our capability to care for our child. If we have caused them harm or created distance between them and ourselves, it is up to us to take the initiative towards repairing that relationship. By looking for signs that they are receptive, we can determine whether or not they are ready to be closer to us again.
- Express your emotions: It’s beneficial to let our children know when we’re feeling upset. We need to ensure we do it in a respectful way, without humiliating or holding them responsible. Emotional moments are crucial chances to teach children how to express themselves. We can do this by setting an example and expressing our emotions in a way that seeks response and conversation. This aids our children to understand that even tough emotions can be expressed and handled.
- Understand their feelings: It is essential that we take the time to get to know our children and appreciate them for who they are. Showing respect for our children’s thoughts and emotions will encourage them to keep sharing these feelings with us. If our kids express a viewpoint that differs from our own, we must give them our full attention without passing judgment or getting upset. This demonstrates to the child that they can count on us to listen and help them with any difficult experiences or problems they may have in the future.
- Know what went wrong: It is essential that we provide children with the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings with us, without passing judgment. Only once they have finished expressing themselves should we share our own thoughts, if at all.
- Create secure boundaries: It can be tough to define personal boundaries, especially when kids are constantly testing them. As a parent, it’s important to remember that one of our jobs is to separate ourselves from our children while still remaining loving. We can do this by remaining firm in our convictions, sticking to our role as a parent, and not crossing boundaries ourselves.
- Guide but don’t control them: When we provide the right guidance, children can develop a sense of autonomy while still being compliant with us. It also strengthens the relationship between parent and child while giving the latter space to explore their own choices. Our kids are individuals with their own thoughts, feelings, and ideas. By respecting their autonomy, we build on their trust in us. Plus, when we discuss things with empathy, we can better understand their behavior before reacting and handing out consequences.
- Mend your parenting methods: Just realizing and owning up to our errors isn’t enough. It’s vital that we strive to do better moving forward. Most importantly, your child must notice the shift in your actions and conversations. This will include the way you speak to them (talking politely over yelling), age-appropriate good touches (hugs, kisses) positive reinforcement, and more.
Suggested reading:Raising Your Teen Without Raising Your Voice: Yes, It’s Possible
Let’s take a look at an example:
If you’re at the mall with your child and they cry over a toy that you chose not to buy, you end up yelling at them.
However, later at home, you can try to pacify the situation by saying, “We both had a tough time today at the mall, didn’t we? I am sorry I yelled at you there. Next time I will try to be calmer with you.”
Let them know that you understand they wanted the toy and that you’ll keep it on your list for next time. Also, discuss with them how both of you will handle it next time if they cannot hold their anger. Reassure them that you love them, which will never change.
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