Being a supportive parent is paramount to the success, happiness, and wellbeing of your child, but sometimes it can be difficult understanding how to do it well.
We are all human beings with our own flaws and our own upbringing, so seeking help to understand how to be a better, more supportive parent already means you are going in the right direction.
There are many benefits of being a supportive parent to both you and your child, and this piece is going to offer some advice on how exactly you can do that, so read on to find out more.
Empathy is crucial to support, no matter what situation you are in. For some it can be difficult to put yourself in the mindset of your child. For others, you will be able to draw on your experience from when you were a child to help navigate their upbringing.
When children experience things, it can seem like the most important, or overwhelming, all-encompassing feeling for them, and having a parent downplay it can make them feel unsupported. While you recognize yourself that the tantrum they are having over a receipt being throw away, the terror they feel at a balloon existing, or the strange attachment they have formed to a specific kitchen spoon is ‘irrational’, to them how they feel is very real.
Practicing putting yourself into their shoes can help you get down to their level and understand how they are feeling about a particular situation. This can help you support them in the way they need so they feel heard and seen, rather than shut out or misunderstood, and will have an impact on how or if they come to you in the future with more serious issues.
Be More Open Minded and Approachable
Children now are growing up in a world where there are many things we do not understand, and this is the case for each decade we go into. Trends, culture shifts, and language adaptations are among many of the changes that are happening in your child’s world that you may not be able to identify with and being open minded and approachable can help them clue you in to these things, so you are able to give decent advice and guidance. What you do not know, you cannot help with, so making sure your children know they can come to you about anything at all, even if you do not understand, can open up an important exchange of dialogue.
All children need someone who they are able to approach and who is open minded, so if you can offer that to a child, then consider fostering. Head over to thefca.co.uk for more info.
Try New Things with Them
It is much easier for parents to pass on what they enjoy to their children as a force of habit but trying new things that your children are interested in can offer many benefits. Not only will you be able to bond with your children and strengthen your relationship together, but you will also get to learn something new yourself. They do say that children can keep you young, so getting involved with whatever they are interested in can light a fire in your belly too, while supporting them in anything else they enjoy or want to try.
An important aspect to remember here is that your children are not an extension of you. They will not always like what you like, and they will have different interests and hobbies to what you might enjoy yourself or want for them. Let them talk to you about these interests and show an interest so they feel supported for who they are and what they like.
Focus On Quality Time
Quality time is vital to building up a relationship with your children. It is not enough to just chat in the car on the way back from school or over homework or another activity. It is important to carve out quality time, so they have your undivided attention. This way you are able to listen to them properly, engage with whatever activity or conversation you are having, and they know that if they need you for whatever reason, you will put everything aside to be there.
There are many different ideas you can choose to spend quality time with your child, but it is worthwhile choosing something that you both enjoy regularly so you can have fun and relax together. Options such as chores can work well too, as long as you are both participating equally or facing a challenge together can build up a bond.
These are just a few ideas on how you can be a supportive parent. All children are different and will require different means of support, and it is up to you to ask them and work out how you can best support them as an individual.