Is there tension in your parent-child relationship?
Or is it hard for you to communicate with your child?
If so, don’t be discouraged.
We all try our best as parents, but things aren’t always smooth sailing.
I’ve spoken to and worked with more than 20,000 tweens and teens. I’ve seen first-hand how easily parent-child relationships can be damaged.
Here are seven ways that parents hurt the relationship with their child – so avoid doing these at all costs.
1. Tell your child that he isn’t living up to his potential.
Parents sometimes say to their underperforming child:
- “You’re not maximizing your potential.”
- “You’re intelligent, but you’re not making the most of it.”
- “You’re wasting your potential.”
- “If you worked harder, you would fulfill your potential.”
Do children feel motivated when they hear things like these? Unfortunately, they don’t.
Children share with me that when they’re told they’re not living up to their potential, they’re uninspired to improve.
Because they feel as if their parents care more about their performance than who they are as a person. They feel as if their parents would consider them more “complete,” if only they achieved more.
This causes resentment, which hinders them from even wanting to change their behavior.
Instead of focusing on your child’s untapped potential, acknowledge his good behavior. For example, if you observe that he’s been more diligent in his school work (even if it’s just a tiny improvement), acknowledge this change. You could say, “I notice you’ve been more focused recently.”
Or if he’s kind toward his younger sibling, compliment him by saying, “That’s thoughtful of you.”
The more attention you pay to your child’s good behavior, the more that behavior will multiply. Gradually, your parent-child relationship will improve too. [Read more…]