Can your kids go to you?

By Steve Wickham

Do you have kids who, when they get in a bind, might say:

“I can’t go to my Dad; “I can’t go to my Mum; “What can my parents do for me in this situation? “I want to run!”

These views are obviously a big problem for us as parents.

What is parenting if not relationship? What sort of relationship are we growing between us and our children—what are YOU growing? We are the adults. You are the adult who loves your kid. You are motivated to loving them right?—even though it is incredibly hard work at times!

Effective parent-child relationships however are built on high value love and high value boundaries. There are both.

There are always some tough decisions required by us, and the only way we get to execute these tough decisions effectively and consistently is where there’s some mutual respect, particularly with teens, and where there is an underpinning relationship of trust and love. It’s good when we know that each will respect the other as the decision is worked out.

In this relationship neither parent nor child should be scared of the other’s reaction and both should work collaboratively. We know that respect for the other person is there; to each there is a role—and there’s assurance of that well beneath the problem being discussed.

As parents, we have a much more stable base for our children to learn from than from any other person or group, though our influence is likely to decrease momentarily as they go through their teens. Our influence as parents is generally superior to our children’s own self-understanding or others’ understandings they may be inclined to trust.

Our children need to lean onto us as parents; our love; our faith (in them, and theirs in us); our experience; our patience and tolerance; and yes, our forgiveness!

The authority element in the relationship is with us, the parents. We have spiritual authority over our children’s lives. The first place our kids should turn is to us. We are the strongest and most dependable point for them to turn to.

By Steve Wickham