6 Steps to help build Parent and Child Relationship
Posted on 12th December 2021 at 20:58
By Julie Wales, Family & Special Needs Counsellor
Myths: Everyone once believed that the earth was flat! We now know this is a myth, not a fact. 'Parents need to be perfect' is also a myth – Good enough is good enough for you and your child - Fact.
You are the expert on your own child, but why didn’t anyone ever tell you how shockingly hard it was going to be?!
I want to share six tips to help you be a good enough parent:
Focus on the positives/blessings
This helps the parent/child relationship and helps us feel good enough.
Good and bad things happen every day. Do you ever notice we only focus on the bad things that happen and not the good? When we focus on the good things about our child, the bad has less impact on our well-being and the experience of parenting becomes more positive. Tip - Write a daily Journal of all your child’s right actions e.g. They didn’t get in trouble at school today. They are breathing, they helped with the dishes. My child had a ‘wow’ moment in their learning or behaviour today.
Connect and be a role model to your child
How do you manage your emotions? Cry often. Laugh often. Say YES to fun. Encourage them to talk about their feelings e.g. How do you feel…happy, angry, sad…?
Allow safe expression of anger, e.g., tear up paper, punch bag in gym. Write or draw their anger, use a Grudge Jar. If your child has special needs, use a visual timetable to ease their frustration or uncertainty of what happens next.
Let go of expectations that are problematic for you and your child, e.g., academic pressure to succeed, attending numerous after school clubs, etc.
This can mean observing your child’s change in behaviour and listening and taking their worries seriously. Worry time for 10-15 minutes going through your child’s worry notes can be useful to improve anxiety for child and parent. Older teenagers can write in a journal or in their mobile phones. If after several days their worries have gone then get rid of the note. If not, keep talking about it and find solutions.
Talk about how your child is feeling. Ask: are you happy, sad, angry? Tell them it's OK to be sad, angry. Use pictures, mood card or emoji to allow expression and help them explain about their worries about school, friendships, or other things.
Help children think through workable solutions, using pictures or social stories if special needs. Allow them to express their anger/frustration by using a way suited to the family and them, e.g., punch bag in garage, bounce on a trampoline, tear up old newspaper, fifty jumping jacks. Some children with special needs may like fluffy cushions, fidget toys, weighted blanket, or a backpack to use for any sensory overwhelm they may feel. Self-soothe ideas that allow them to calm.
Aeroplane safety instruction is: If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your oxygen mask on first, and then assist the other person.
Be good enough, there is no perfect
Make self-care time to relax you – Have fun and play
What did you used to enjoy doing that you don’t do anymore?
Make Couple time for your relationship
See good friends and connect with your local community or join a support group for parents.
Ring a Parent Helpline: (National) Family Lives 0808 800 2222 or Young Minds Parents Helpline. Free 0808 802 5544.
Local to Gloucestershire: TIC+ 0800 652 5675 or access Online Chat via TIC website at www.ticplus.org.uk
Join a parent’s support group running local to you. TIC+ are running regular scheduled groups. Look at Parent & Carer Support Groups – Tic+ (www.ticplus.org.uk). TIC+
Julie Wales helps Parents and Carers, offering them ‘survival guide’ strategies to build confidence in themselves and their parenting.
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