Build a better relationship with your kid
Okay, so most of us want a better relationship with our kid...even the ones with big, huge emotions that make us feel like crappy parents. Tell me I’m wrong...and mean it.
If the relationship with your kid could use some improvement, you could keep doing what you’re doing (you know, they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results…) or you could implement small changes to start the process gradually. It’s completely your choice...and up to you, you are the parent.
If you are still reading, you have made a wise choice :) I am a big believer that ALL relationships can improve...but the ones with our teenagers and threenagers can be especially rough...and in need of a lot of nurturing to make it through unscathed. Try the tips below to help along the journey...I have only listed a few so as not to overwhelm you or make any more chaos in your life (if you change too much too fast, it gets a little crazy).
First, yes, you are the parent but sometimes you have to take off the parenting hat and just listen without judging or fixing. If you want your kid to be able to trust that you won’t overreact, listen. Don’t chastise or punish. Keep the lines of communication open, the early you start it, the better it is in the long run.
Secondly, talk about everything...and listen too. Talking about the little things early in life shows that you care what they have to say and makes talking about the big things later a smidge easier. Talk about your day. Talk about their day. Talk about interests, memories, friends, funny dreams, etc. Be gentle with your opinions and judgement of others, that stuff really does shape your kid and what they will tell you.
Finally, don’t overreact. Your kid will get angry at you. They will lash out. They will be mean. Don’t take it personally. Don’t overreact. Just remain as calm as you can and show them how you expect them to act. If you blow up at your kid, chances are your child will do it too. If you are struggling with your own emotions, take a moment...pause...take a deep breath...take a time-out. Let them (and you) calm down and address your concerns then. Remember, if they can trust you with their big emotions, they are more likely to continue to talk to you.
It’s not always fun or easy. It’s hard to stay neutral (not all the time, some things need to be addressed immediately). It’s hard to not take their words seriously. But, from personal experience, it’s all worth it...every minute of it.