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Ways to Improve Your Relationship With Your Children

Parenting is a team sport and our children are our star players. In order for any team to be successful, they need to have a strong bond. Here we will explore some suggestions on how you can strengthen your relationship with your kids.

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Someone once said that parenting is a lot like football: children are on the offensive (trying to cross the line of scrimmage of our rules) and parents are on the defense (trying to close the gaps and present a barrier that cannot be penetrated). While the analogy is cute, it has a fundamental flaw in its presuppositions. As parents, we are on the SAME team as our children, not opposing ones.

If we consider ourselves as defender of the rules and expectations of the home and our children as set on breaking them, we create an innately adversarial environment. This “us against them” mentality undermines what God has in store for us as a family unit. He has created us as relational beings. HE is a relational being. He wants relationship with us; that is why He sent His Son to redeem us. His desire is that we will be in relationship with the members of our family as well. Just as the body of Christ functions best when each member does his part, the family functions best when each member is supported and encouraged to do their part. When one member is “sidelined” the whole team is affected.

The idea of a relationship between parents and children has been skewed in our culture. We have confused relationship with friendship. We seem to know that the relationship is essential, but often our attempts to achieve this have ventured too far into friendship territory. It seems like a difficult balance to achieve, but you can have a close and meaningful relationship with your children and still maintain your position as leader and authority figure. Think of it this way: you are not on opposite teams. You are not teammates. You and your spouse are the coaches and your kids are your star players. As the coach, you are invested in your children’s success and growth as team members and seek to come along side them to insure that they work toward that goal.

Here are some ways you can foster meaningful relationships with your children:

  • Identify common interests
  • Practice empathetic listening
  • Wonder together
  • Ask questions
  • Create unique memories
  • Cook together
  • Volunteer together
  • Be an encourager and cheerleader
  • Get excited about what excites them

These are just a few ideas. How do you encourage and foster relationships in your family? Go team, go!

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for treatment from a qualified mental health professional. Cornerstones for Parents is not liable for any advice, tips, techniques, and recommendations the reader chooses to implement.

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About Laura

Laura Kuehn, LCSW

Laura is a licensed clinical social worker who offers individual therapy to women and moms in Connecticut. She is the author of More Than a Conqueror, A Christian Kid's Guide to Winning the War on Worry. Cornerstones for Parents is the place she combines some of the things she is most passionate about: God's word, parenting and mental health.

1 Comment

  • […] truly believe that parenting is a team sport. Kids are the star players and mom and dad are the coaches. In fact, the parents are actually ONE […]

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