Having a good parent-child relationship is something everyone strives for, both on the parental side and also on the child’s side. But it involves much more than just being popular with your children, because a truly great a good parent-child relationship is like a teabag… It’s true color comes out when it’s in hot water!
Top 5 Mistakes that Stop Singles Having a Good Parent-Child Relationship
As a single mom or dad it is certainly possible to have a good parent-child relationship, but many single parents make some classic mistakes in this area.
1. Trying to Be Their Friend
It is great to love your child and wonderful to relate well to them. It is also great when they share even their most intimate thoughts with you because they trust you. However, your children do not need you as a friend, they need you as a parent. You can still relate well to them, love them and have them trust you, but it cannot be as a friend it needs to be someone they look up to and respect, and that’s what parenting is about.
At some point your teenage son or daughter will choose to be with their friends over you, and that’s okay. The worst thing you can do is to force your friendship on the, especially in the company of their other friends. Love them, be close to them, be absolutely trustworthy, but don’t be a friend be mom or dad.
2. Manipulating Them
Singles in general and particularly single moms are very prone to manipulating their children. In a healthy relationship, if you want them to do something you need to simply ask honestly and openly, not manipulate them or use a guilt trip to have your children obey you. You may feel like the technique works, but in the long run it will come back toward you and can potentially ruin your entire relationship with your children.
3. Giving Them Too Much Freedom
A good parent-child relationship needs to have rules, and these rules need to be enforced consistently with appropriate consequences. Giving excessive freedom to your child is not a way of showing you love them, it’s a way of giving them a licence to destroy their lives. If you truly love them, you will set clear rules in place and make sure that they are adhered to. Asking them what they want to do and giving in to them is a bit like asking an alcoholic to mind your liquor cabinet key.
4. Being Harsh About the Little Things
Single parent families, like any other family, are going to face moments of conflict which potentially can damage a good parent-child relationship. Many things are said in anger and regretted later, but you cannot take them back once they have been said! Therefore, it is wise to pick your battles, taking a positive and immovable stand on big issues like curfews, sexual behavior or respecting others, but being a lot less harsh and “letting things slide a little” when it comes to small issues like mowing the lawn or eating their vegetables.
5. Showing Conditional Love
One of the greatest things you can possibly do to promote a good parent-child relationship is to love them unconditionally. Conditional love is one of the great killers of relationship, especially in a single parent home, but unconditional love can cover a multitude of sins. Your child needs to know that you love them no matter what they do and no matter what they say. So if they are good and obedient, you love them. If they are naughty, disobedient, rude or selfish, you love them just the same… Unconditionally!