Raising children is a challenge for all parents and also a controversial topic. It is helpful for parents to focus less on adopting a particular parenting style and instead to work on their relationship with their children.
Cultivating a relationship with the child
An essential point when focusing on the relationship is the business of setting limits. This is not necessarily about showing the child their limits, but more about being aware of one’s own limits as a parent and being clear about these. When parents take good care of themselves, they give children a stable sense of security and can communicate with them at eye level. Setting boundaries for a child often provokes resistance because the child doesn’t know why they are supposed to behave in a particular way in a given situation. However, when parents are clear about what they want and what their needs are, the child can better understand why they should do something.
What does emphasizing the relationship with a child mean?
Of course, one of the essential tasks parents engage in is bringing their children up. However, when one speaks of raising children, different images come to mind than when one thinks of the term “relationship”. So how can you integrate the relationship into the process of raising children?
Parents are responsible for creating a framework in which the child can develop. That is, parents specify WHAT should happen. By doing this, they create the prospect of a result. The way there and under which conditions the goal is reached, however, does not have to be predetermined. The child can try out their own approaches and the parents can support them.
Parents give their child the opportunity to choose. For example, parents can give a choice of two tasks that need to be done on a particular day, such as tidying up the bedroom and doing homework, and the child can decide which one they do first.
There should be no negotiating with the child about whether something happens or not, but rather under which conditions it happens. The children can help shape the "how". In this way, children feel seen and valued, and a collaborative approach to shaping the situation can emerge.
To increase children's self-efficacy and self-confidence, it can be helpful to assign responsibility in some areas. This can start with something small, such as choosing which clothes they’re going to wear.