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If you want to alienate your kids, create an atmosphere that says “I am the boss and you will obey!” On the other hand, if you want a relationship with your kids, create an atmosphere that says “I am here to help you!”

Communicating with your child is what will determine the type of relationship you will share. On going communication is what will allow the relationship to deepen and strengthen.

Parents are often so busy they forget the need to consciously cultivate a relationship with their children. It is certainly not a lack of desire; they are generally placing most of their time and energy into providing for their children.

At the end of the day, parents are grateful that they have been able to provide the necessities in life and devote even a small amount of time to just being with their children.

However, we must not sell our children short. They are much smarter than we give them credit for. They know and they see how busy life is for their parents. What they need is to know that they are the most important part of those busy days and nights. In this area, quality outweighs quantity. When you only have a short time to spend with your kids, talk with them, not at them. Talk about what interests them rather than interrogating them.

While driving them to school, running errands, or at the dinner table, ask them what they are thinking about. Share your thoughts about what is happening in your life and ask their opinion. In other words, include them in a meaningful exchange of thoughts…even for only a few minutes.

Sadly, the type of relationship parents have with their children is not examined until a problem surfaces.

Regardless of the age of your children, it is critical to immediately begin creating a relationship built on communication rather than to wait until there is a problem.

So often, we hear parents of teenagers say they have no idea what is going on with their child. They complain that they don’t understand them and most definitely are not in agreement with many of the choices they see them making.

It is devastating when a teenager makes a choice that has life-changing consequences, such as drugs, pregnancy or even suicide…too often it takes something drastic to prompt parents to examine the level of communication they have with their children.

The responsibility of teaching children to communicate lies with the parent.

Parents need to consciously “steer” their relationship toward a bonding that includes a mutual respect and sharing of thoughts and ideas and opinions.

The single most important thing to remember is to listen. Do not feel that you must have all the answers…it is more important for your children to know they can say anything and talk about anything without being judged or punished. Relate to what they are thinking and saying through listening and sharing.

The second thing to remember is that it is not your job to simply dictate commands for your children to obey. Nothing will break down a relationship quicker than a child feeling their thoughts and opinions are unimportant.

Finally, honor your child’s individuality; respect the fact that they are their own person. Allow them to develop into who they are created to be, not a carbon copy of who we are. A parent’s role is to encourage and support them in determining the best solution for them, not to control them.

The principles of the law of attraction state that what you put out will come back to you. Applying this to communicating with your children, tells us that when you value and respect your children’s thoughts, ideas and opinions, they will value and respect yours.

Respect leads to trust and trust is the foundation of any successful relationship.

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