By Dr. Vijayalakshmi Damera, Psychology
A lot of parents have strained relationships with their children owing to a variety of reasons- lack of communication, misunderstanding, lack of time etc. This strained relationship results in depression, substance abuse, broken families, suicides, etc. which affect both sides. Thus, it is important to lay down some basic principles to maintain a healthy parent-child relationship.
- Effective communication: No relationship can thrive without effective communication. You need to invest time and interest in your child’s life to understand him/her better and build a healthy relationship.
- Adapt yourself: To build a relationship, you cannot rely on a single tried and tested method to work for everything. You need to adapt yourself according to the situation and the growing stages of your child as every stage requires a different level of understanding.
- Grow with your child: As a parent, you need to be able to grow with your child. The ability to adapt and evolve according to the different stages your child goes through will help you guide him/her better and give the child a confidante to place their trust in.
- Give space: Every relation requires some amount of space and as a parent, you should give your child the required space. Similarly, a child should understand that he can’t be told everything by his parents and let him make his own decisions. This space given to the other person defines the relationship.
- Establish ground rules: While setting too many rules isn’t advisable, you need to establish some ground rules as a parent to manage your child’s behaviour and habits. The way these rules are implemented is going to define your child’s development and evolution as an individual.
- Respect the other person: Respect your child by talking to him politely and lending an ear to his/her problems and more importantly, to receive the same level of respect. This respect is the foundation of building a relationship which is progressive.
- Be there for the other person: As a parent, you need to be patient and understanding when your child is going through something and constantly remind him/her of the support he/she has. A child also needs to be empathetic towards the problems the parent is dealing with. This leads to mutual understanding and a healthy transformation in a relationship.