If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you’ll know something of my views on parenting and the best way to grow great family relationships when your children are young.
Please don’ t get me wrong – I’m not an expert in this field, but working with kids and parenting has kind of reinforced some of my views, and seeing so many families who have really great relationships has only strengthened these views.
But although I have seen so many fantastic parent/child relationships, I’ve certainly seen the other end too, with parents that we could only ever describe as clueless!
I guess we’ve all had that disturbing experience of being in a supermarket with an angry parent shouting at an out of control toddler, where the shouting just seems to make a bad situation worse. I’ve seen it all too often and it really is awful.
I really do appreciate how hard being a parent is, but I would also argue that if as a parent do things a bit different, you need never be in that supermarket situation. Easier said than done? Well yes, but let me illustrate what I mean with another story.
A couple of days ago I walked past a mum and child where the mum was actually talking to their child and explaining what she was going to buy and why, and you could see the child listening and taking notice.
This lady wasn’t being patronising, talking down to the child, and neither was she talking to the child as if she was an adult. But she was taking the time to speak across the child, and this, for me is the key.
When people ask me why it’s so important for children to wear clothes that they’ll actually like and be proud of wearing, I make the same point. Yes, we must remain in control, but as parents we must also show respect to our kids. That means remembering our own childhood and taking account of our child’s thoughts and feelings.
If a kid doesn’t know where the walls or boundaries are, they’ll feel insecure and soon learn to manipulate their parents to get what they want. I know it’s tough being tough, but if you’re absolutely firm about some things, you can actually have freedom in so many other ways.
If you’ve set secure parameters or boundaries for your child and they know these don’t change, you have the opportunity to build such fun, positive relationships with your child. Giving them input and choice in their clothing choices is just one aspect of this.
As I said earlier – easier said than done, and I’m open to discussion on this, but I hope you have found these thoughts useful.