While parenting can seem lonely at times, a big part of the job is developing relationships, but not only with your own child. Building positive relationships with those around you and in your child’s life such as other parents and teachers is also instrumental in maintaining a healthy home and school life.
With a positive approach to relationships you can build a network of support for your family and make the most of positive influences and outside knowledge.
Parent and child
Building a meaningful relationship with your child can take a lot of work and time to get right, but you can take small steps to make sure that your relationship is close, trusting and mutually respectful.
You can build a positive relationship with your child by engaging with all aspects of their life, from their earliest experiences of education to their social life as a teenager. You can do simple things such as:
A crucial factor in developing this relationship is to work on open communication and encouraging listening. This gives you and your child the opportunity to understand each other’s needs, rather than arguing to vent frustrations.
By nurturing communication from an early age, your child will feel more comfortable in discussing difficult issues as they get older, whether this is an issue in school or an argument with a friend or family member.
Teenagers in particular may find it difficult to express their changing emotional needs while managing educational, physical and social changes. They may also experience behavioural issues, bullying, learning difficulties and experience the weight of peer pressure.
Mental health is also an issue for teenagers, as YoungMinds.org estimate that three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health issue, with 50% of all problems manifesting by age 14.
If your child begins to struggle with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression or a panic disorder, you’ll need to ensure that communication is still at the core of your relationship in order to give them a safe environment to discuss their emotions.
Make sure you acknowledge the positive things about your child, no matter how small. By celebrating small things and recognising their growth and personal development, you can help them feel valued and set a positive example for their own parenting in the future.
Parent and parent
Parents are the ultimate role model and guide for their children, and by expressing positivity and respect with your own relationships, you’ll be providing a healthy outlook for your child’s future social relationships. By showing manners, sharing and listening, you can help your children’s communication and ability to forge new friendships.
Making friends with parents can seem quite intimidating, but it could give you the extra insight you need to make positive changes in your family life.
As your child grows and makes friends, it’s always an easy way for you to develop your own relationships with other parents who know your child and can understand what you’re going through. You can also meet parents at school events or through mutual friends who may be able to put you in touch with people in similar situations as you.
If your child is having issues with one of their peers at school, it’s worth developing a positive relationship with their parents too, so that you can come together to try and resolve any issues being faced in school. It can be difficult to do, but with an open mind and a direct approach, you may be able to create something positive out of a problematic situation.
Parent and school
It’s never too early to start building a relationship with the teaching staff at your child’s school, as when you’re not around, they’ll have the most impact on your child’s daily life.
By fostering a positive outlook on a learning environment, your child will not only see you taking an interest in their educational life, but the teachers will be glad you’ve made the effort.
Make yourself approachable and known, and don’t be afraid of talking to a teacher if you suspect something is disrupting your child’s daily life, such as classroom or cyber bullying.
This relationship will not only benefit your child but also your own understanding of their academic needs and progress. Teachers will also be able to provide you with ideas on how to support your child at home, and you’ll get a greater understanding of the role they play in your child’s life.
Child and child
Teaching your child how to make friends can be a challenge, especially if they’re starting a new school or meeting new groups of people.
Children will often watch how their parents interact with others, and model their own behaviour based on observations.
As children grow, friendships are less about who they’re sat with in the classroom and become based on personalities and common interest. As they face secondary school, friendships form new and greater meaning and become more permanent, and these friends are likely to form a significant impact on a child’s life.
If your child struggles with shyness and making friends, you can support them by helping them with conversation starters and their communication skills. and encourage them to join clubs or activities.
They may also be faced with growing social pressures and cyber bullying and may see popularity as an aspirational part of life. It’s important to teach them basic lessons on friendship and how true friendship is based on acceptance and shared interests, rather than who is the most popular.
If you have any news or up and coming events that you'd like to shout about, then please submit a post to Merthyr FIS by clicking the button belowSubmit News to Merthyr FIS