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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What's the key to a good parent-child relationship?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (32652points) February 2nd, 2012

Let’s assume love is a given.

I believe the key is communication. I remember when I got divorced, my therapist stated that the greatest fear children had was losing touch with the parent they didn’t live with. Through the years, I’ve always tried to maintain active communication with my children wherever I might be. It has kept us close.

What do you think? What makes a good relationship between parent and child?

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13 Answers

Sunny2's avatar

You’re right about communication. Loving respect should be the basis of that communication. It doesn’t guarantee smoothness all along the way, but it sure helps.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Be there, be there, be there! My children taken away from me at age 8. Their family on that side told them I was dead. When I was able to find them, the biggest feeling they had was ANGER that they had missed me so many years, and that they had been lied to.

Aethelwine's avatar

You need to be involved in their life. Show that you are interested in their interests, show that you care, have fun family time together doing what they like to do, listen without judgement.

auhsojsa's avatar

Constant communication, advice only when asked for, protecting them from a distance, for instance, encouraging a certain creative or sporty hobby he or she may have. This will help decrease the likelihood of them joining violent networks. In other words, be gentle with an iron fist.

marinelife's avatar

I was going to say that just like any relationship, it is communication.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Be present. When you are with them or communicating to them, give them your full attention.

Ela's avatar

Choose your battles. Give them choices when you can. Ask them what they think then really listen to what they have to say so they know their feelings and opinions are valued.

Pandora's avatar

Be honest and explain rules along the way and how you make them for their safety or to aid them in becoming responsible adults.

Never lie to them. You will only be caught and they will never trust you. There are things you may not want to discuss with them and that is ok. Just let them know you will revisit the conversation when you feel they are mature enough to handle it. Or if you feel it is none of their business, let them know that too. You don’t have to tell them everything.

Parents should never try to be their childs best friend They already have friend their own age for that. They need a person who will always be there for them through thick and thin and who has no agenda except to guide them safely through life. Friends only first obligation is to themselves and to be liked. A parents first obligation is to their child.

Don’t make promises you are not going to keep. Even little ones. What you may think is no big deal is often a mountain to them. But most of all this will teach them that you are a person they can always trust to keep your word. It also gives them security in knowing they can always trust you. (And keep them to their promises as well. This will teach them the value of their word.)

Let them earn their way into your good graces when they’ve done wrong. They should know that punishment means you are disappointed with what they did wrong but it doesn’t waver your love for them. Punish for the act but don’t carry a grudge all day. By the end of the evening you should be able to tuck them in and say I love you without a second thought.

zenvelo's avatar

@Pandora That’s a great answer, especially about not being their friend.

One thing is I never call them names of even the mildest sort, even when I am really exasperated. I get critical of behavior, not the child.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Being the parent. Too often parents try to be their child’s friend. Friendly is, of course, a good thing. But never stop being the parent. That is your child’s security.

JilltheTooth's avatar

It’s been said quite well already. Communicate, communicate, communicate. If I recall correctly, @Hawaii_Jake , your children are no longer little, right? Then let me add to the communicate thing to listen, be the Dad first, you can be friends, but be the parent first, and…aw. hell, everybody beat me to it. From what I know of you, your instincts are all right on the money…

john65pennington's avatar

Be there friend, but not too friendly.

My daughter was too friendly with her children. We have discussed this before and she agrees. By being “too friendly”, I mean be young and grow up with your children. You can be just one of their best friends, but make sure they understand that you are their mother, first. This is where my daughter more or less failed and she agrees.

She was one of the kids and her children loved her for it. The problem presented itself, when she became Mother the Punisher and not Mother One Of Us. When my daughter dished out punishment for a bad deed, her children did believe her, that she really meant what she said about standing in the corner or doing writeoffs.

In other words, her children did not respect her as their mother, but only as their friend. My daughter crossed the line, wanting to gain their friendship, but she lost the leadership with her children as their mother.

My daughter agrees with everything I have said here. It took a while for everything to change in her family. Her children had hard feelings for my daughter for about two years. They soon got over it and her family is on the correct course now.

Be your children’s friend, but be their mother first.

ArabianKnightress's avatar

@john65pennington Very nicely said,I couldn’t of said it better myself. It is very important that you never cross that line. You need to maintain the respect as their parent first.

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