Related Questions

How to strengthen parent child relationship?

A parent child relationship is two-sided. Both parent and child should individually make efforts to build up the relationship. The first part of the article discusses about what the parent can do and the next part is for the children who want to strengthen their relationship with parents. But the parent should not expect the child to play his part well and vice-versa. It works only when we change without expecting the other to change.

For Parents : Strengthen the Parent Child Bonding!

To strengthen a parent child relationship, one has to strive to keep a balanced approach. The role of a parent evolves from nurturer, guide and lastly to a friend. Until the age of seven or eight years if a child makes mistakes then you have to guide them and even discipline them if necessary. Till the age of twelve to fifteen you can guide them but after sixteen you have to become their friends.

Theoretically, we know only love and understanding can touch a child’s heart but practically there is a gap — which we want to fill up! So, let’s learn how to work on this precious relationship between parents and children so that your child grows into a happy and confident human.

A) Awareness of these Keys will help you focus:

  • Every child is unique and brings with them their personalities at birth, you have to just help and nurture them so that they flourish. Just like seeds which bring with them what tree they will grow into — orange or apple — so does your child. She/he brings with them the seed karma of who they will grow up into.
  • Love yourself and love your child unconditionally.
  • Encourage the positive side of your child and ignore the negatives — like we appreciate the flower but ignore the thorns. The positive side within them will blossom so much that their negatives will shed away.
  • Take some time and list down the positive points you appreciate in your child, yes right now close your eyes think of their smile, nature, wonderful acts and so on.
  • Strive to achieve a balanced approach towards positive parenting by beholding love in one eye and strictness in the other eye. Strictness does not mean anger, but it means to ‘blow off hot air’ that too very rarely. You may have to scold them dramatically with firmness in your tone but without spoiling your facial expressions. There are parent types who are over authoritative, always giving their children instructions and rules, or overprotective always trying to please their child. Excessive attention suffocates the growing child. Avoiding such attention is an essential key to a strong parent child relationship.
  • Fulfill your duties, even if your child speaks to you rudely and is disrespectful towards you. Your duty as a parent should be to nurture and raise your child well and direct him on the right path. If he speaks to you in a disrespectful manner and you do the same to him, he will become rebellious. Analyze what triggers disrespectful behavior in your child, give a good thought over it you will get an idea to overcome it. Param Pujya Dadashri says, behavior is the result of our understanding. Sit with your child and explain things to him in a gentle and loving manner when things have cooled down. If you become a friend to your children, they will improve. But if you assert your authority as a parent, you will risk losing them.

B) Practical insights for strengthening your parent child relationship in everyday dealings:

1. Listen: To win their love and confidence in you — Listen to them and say something in agreement or keep mum but don’t jump to conclusion and oppose them during daily interactions.

2. Talk: This is most important aspect in parenting — how to talk with children! Speak calmly and with understanding and love, using only a few words and one day you will win him over. You will not reap its rewards immediately. Continue your love for a month and then see its results.

For detailed understanding on how to talk, read “2. How to talk and deal with child?”

3. Spend time together like friends:

  • Give the child some household chores or ask them to help in your work from a very young age, so they value what they have and have sense of ownership. Let them fail; waste stuff and evolve as they experience.
  • Laugh together. Show interest in things your child is interested in. You should do things as friend would with your child; play games, sports, talk about their video games, eat meals, drink tea together, tell stories, share your experience as a child etc.
  • Every morning after they bathe, teach them to pray to the almighty for world peace and salvation. Pray with them, so they will learn from you.

4. When things go wrong:

There will be times, when things go out of control and we end up saying hurtful words to our child. First and foremost, do not get emotional by going to the guilt mode or getting angry and showing authority. It’s like vomit, it’s already done. Now it needs to be wiped out. Gnani Purush Dada Bhagwan has shown us the ultimate way to wash our misdeeds — by Pratikraman, (asking for forgiveness) we wash out our negative feelings from our heart. Therefore, the negative vibration stops from our side and eventually the other person will not have any complaints about us. This is essential for strengthening the parent child relationship.

5. When your child stops listening:       

There can be times when you feel very deeply that you are saying things for your child’s benefit but they are not listening to you and on top of it ask you to stop lecturing. At such times, when spoken words are not working, and you want your child to improve,  PRAYER is the ultimate tool. Empower yourself with prayer.

And above all, do not get overwhelmed by reading all this. Your determination of strengthening your relationship will guide you. Feel good about yourself that you are a self-aware parent who wants to work on improving this puzzling parent child relationship.  

C) ‘Real’ understanding of the Parent Child Relationship

Give a thought on the following:

  • Is the parent-child relationship ‘Real’ or ‘Relative’?
  • Did you exist before your child birth?
  • A child says, ‘Father, I cannot live without you. My father and I are indeed one!’ But when the father dies, the child doesn’t die with him, does he? No one will die like that, will one? All of them are wise, aren’t they?

All these relationships are temporary adjustments. You must conduct your interactions carefully. As long as you adjust to them, everything will be fine. Your intentions should be to preserve the relationship, even though others try to destroy it. Try to keep things as stable as you can.

In worldly interactions, you should conduct yourself as though you are an actor in a play. Do everything that you have to do, but without emotional involvement. A mother who hugs her child dearly may do so to the point of smothering it and then naturally the child becomes irritated. It is the ignorant, who display such possessive behavior. Whereas the Gnani Purush remains detached from all worldly interactions and so everyone remains happy with him.

For Children

Questioner:  I want to take care of parents and strengthen my relationship with parents, but I end up seeing faults in them. What should I do?

Dadashri: Children who see faults in their parents will never be happy. They may have material wealth, but they would never be happy spiritually. You must never see faults in your parents. How can you forget what they have done for you? You do not forget someone's kindness even when they offer you a cold drink on a hot day, so how can you forget your parents' kindness?

Care for them in the best possible way. If they say something disagreeable to you, overlook it. They are your elders. Do you think they deserve disrespect?

Questioner: No. But what if it happens by mistake?

Dadashri:  Why do you not fall by mistake? You manage to be careful in that situation. Besides, if you slip accidentally, your father will understand, but if you make a mistake on purpose, he will question you. Try your best not to make a mistake. If it happens outside your control they will understand and know that you are not capable of doing it. Keep them happy. Do they not try to keep you happy? All parents desire their child's happiness.

Questioner: Yes, but I feel that they have got into a habit of nagging.

Dadashri: Yes, then it is your own fault and you have to do pratikraman for hurting them. They should not be hurt. You should tell yourself that you are here to keep them happy. Ask yourself what you did to make them unhappy.

Do you think your father is bad? What will happen when you think badly of him? There is nothing bad in this world. Whatever comes your way is precise and it is justice. A mother is a mother and you should never see any faults in her. Destiny has given her to you. Can you ever replace your mother?

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