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Parent and Child-Guide to Understanding Children

Updated on November 7, 2019

10 Ways to Improve Parent-Child Relations

In our fast paced society, parent-child relations are tested. Parents are bombarded by relationship problems and they often don't know how to solve these problems because they don't always understand their children.

When parents better understand their children, they can improve parent-child relations and become a better match for their children.

Ways to Improve Parent-Child Relations

*replace punishment  *replace rewards *consider consequences  *be firm  *avoid conflict

*show respect   *don't dominate  *don't criticize  *train  *take action

Parent-Child Relations....Let's Get to It!


Children have gained an equal status with adults which complicates parenting. For example, I had an 8 year old student who, upon getting angry about her parents' punishment, threatened to "call family and childrens services." Clearly, she thought of her parents as having no more power than she.

Parents must realize the uselessness of imposing their will on their children by using punishment. Children, generally, do not submit to punishment. No form of punishment brings lasting submission. Instead, punishment brings resistance and defiance.

Strong parenting replaces punishment. Good parenting techniques help create a sense of respect and cooperation while improving parent-child relations. In such a setting, the tone is set for children to be part of a family unit. Children are encouraged to be willing and responsible participants.

Children are inexperienced and in need of guidance. They are more willing to cooperate and to accept the guidance of a good leader who respects them as a contributor. The parent who shows restraint and respect rather than bullying and demanding submission provides this guidance.

Have you ever noticed what happens to a child's dignity, when he is slapped or spanked?

Or have you thought how much of a parent's dignity is lost when he resorts to "hitting or slapping"?

And what about the guilt a parent carries when he thinks, "Yeah, I hit him. He deserved it." "That was brutal. What am I teaching him with my behavior?"


What about rewarding children for good behavior?

If parents are creating an atmosphere of mutual respect, children will not expect to be rewarded for good behavior.

They will behave in positive ways and they will be satisfied without rewards because they are helping create harmony in a respectful family unit. Positive behavior is "lived".  It happens naturally when children have developed respect for their parents and siblings.

The same idea follows when parents "pay" children for doing chores. If parents have established an atmosphere of mutual respect...then everyone shares responsibly for the family's smooth functioning. Everyone eats. Everyone has a house. Everyone has clean clothes.

Everyone shares the benefits, thus they share in the "labor of chores".

Paying children to help care for a home that everyone uses, teaches them to approach all tasks with an attitude of "what's the payoff for me?" How can they develop a sense of responsibility if they believe that they must be "paid" to contribute?

Children should do chores because doing them contributes to the family welfare.

They get an allowance because they share the benefits....not because they did a chore.

When children are paid, their sense of "belonging" is dulled. Don't "bribe" children to be good. They want to be good because they want to belong, to be a useful contributor, and to cooperate. Why rob them of the sense that you trust them to cooperate by bribing them?

Parents who resort to a system of punishment and reward, are teaching their children the opposite of what they intend. Children think, "Ok, they didn't reward me so why bother? Or I must have no value. There is no payoff."

True satisfaction in an atmosphere of mutual respect comes from a sense of contribution, participation, and mutual respect rather than from constantly seeking rewards or dodging punishment.

Won't you return? I will discuss 8 more ways to improve parent-child relations.


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