Being a parent is one of the most rewarding and challenging jobs that an individual is given. Not only do you have to set rules and limits to help mold your kids into adults, but you also have to understand how to relate to your children and be there for them, especially during tough times. Being present at important events, having intentional conversations, and respecting their privacy are three ways that parents can show they care about their children's lives.
Making yourself available to be at your kids important events is critical in learning how to be a present parent. Whether it is an athletic event, dance recital, school play, or band competition, every kid wants to see his or parent in the audience cheering them on. Sometimes scheduling conflicts occur and you can't make it to an event, but try to make these instances few and far between. Your child will appreciate the time that you take to support him or her and in turn will feel that they can rely on you to celebrate their achievements.
Have Intentional Conversations
Sometimes parents are so busy with the business of life that it seems almost impossible to take time to have an intentional conversation with their kids. Even though it might seem tough, it is crucial to listen to your child, especially if you suspect that he or she might be going through a difficult situation. Take an addiction to pornography, for example. By having an open and honest conversation with your child, he or she will know that you are there for them and will help them know how to quit porn effectively. They will be more apt to ask for help and that will open the door for you to take further action to assist them in overcoming their addiction. You can also support them through finding an appropriate therapist and encourage them through positive self-talk, and forgive them if they make a mistake on the road to recovery. All of these steps will let your child know that you are there for them despite the difficulty of dealing with a situation such as this.
Respect Their Privacy
As a parent, it is easy to want to know everything that your child is doing. There is a peace of mind when you know there are no secrets being hidden. Allowing children to have some privacy, however, is important to foster the child's feeling of safety and security in their home. The trick to respecting a child's privacy while still being a responsible parent is to set boundaries and to communicate them in advance. For example, you could tell your teenager that he or she has to keep the bedroom door open when friends are over and in turn you will spend time in another room to give them privacy during the visit. Setting boundaries in advance will avoid any confusion or awkward conversations for both you and your child and will also let your child know that you care about them enough to give them their space.
In conclusion, learning how to be their for your kids is a challenging task that any parent strives to achieve. It is important to note that being there for your kids doesn't mean always agreeing with them or giving them everything they want. By showing up for important events, having intentional conversations, and respecting their privacy, parents can balance being responsible with being supportive, present, and respectful. IF you can successfully combine these characteristics, your child will know that you, as a parent, are there for them even if you don't always agree with their actions.
Bio: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter @RachelleWilber and Facebook.