Parenting is one of the most rewarding and challenging jobs most of us will ever do.
There are so many variables to consider when raising a child; it may feel as if you’re overlooking details or missing some of the basics. However, the key to successful parenting and creating a respectful parent-child relationship is to build a safe and trusting environment for your children.
Here are a few tips that will help build trust in your relationship.
1. Practice What You Preach
If you want your children to trust you, they need to believe in you – stand by what you say. Kids learn by watching what you do and how you act, just as much as they learn by hearing what you say. You are a leader to your children, and they will follow your example.
2. Take Time to Listen
Kids want to talk about things that may not seem important to you. And depending on the age of your children, the topics might not even be true. This makes it easy for parents to skimp on personal listening skills. However, ignoring your child is not the way to gain trust. Show enthusiasm and interest in what your children have to say, even if it seems frivolous. By doing so, your child feel more comfortable coming to you to discuss more important issues.
3. Tell the Truth
Your child, like anyone else, wants to hear the truth. Being straightforward strengthens the bond between you and your child. You should always present truths in an age-appropriate manner, however. For example, if your child is going to have a shot, tell him or her it will be uncomfortable or like a sharp pinch, but that it will be over soon.
4. Keep Your Promises
Never make promises to your children you can’t keep. Disappointing your kids with broken promises can adversely affect their view of commitment and can damage the parent-child relationship. Broken obligations are devastating to children of any age, but especially younger kids. If there is a chance that you might not be able to fulfill your promise, tell your children ahead of time and explain the reason.
5. Attend Counseling
Never be afraid to ask for help or guidance. Participation in a parenting counseling session can provide insight on effective ways to reach out to your children. Plus, you’ll have support for difficult moments or questions, so you can be better prepared for a variety of situations.