Life is about being in relationship: with family, with children, with partner, with neighbours, with friends or with fellow workers. All of our interactions involve using our senses, communicating and reciprocating. From the tiny baby and its parents, to the teenager and their parent, to the adult and their elderly parent. Every day we spend time with other people………we utilise all of our senses in this engaged experience. For most of us this fully engages our seeing, hearing and touch senses…..senses important in communication and in relationships.
For young children, this is a complex and necessary process. To be cared for by another, to fully rely on someone else for all your needs to be met. This early interaction with parents and caregivers will set the scene for future life experiences. Everyone has heard of bonding and attachment……but few people realise that the process doesn’t stop after infancy. The parent-child relationship is quite vital to the child’s survival, to learning about the world and about relationships. The young child learns about managing emotions, about self-soothing in this first relational experiences. This will affect the growing child, teenager and adult that they become.
The parent’s personality and experiences, their parenting style, their social supports, their stress levels and coping ability – all of this interconnects with the child and their developing personality. So the parent-child relationship involves a combination of factors. Being a parent is a challenge and each person’s strengths, experiences and coping capacity are relevant. It’d important for parents to have a wide range of supports. This may include family, friends or day care/after school card. It’s also important to look after yourself as a parent. This may mean taking breaks, working, walks, catching up with a friend, having a massage, sleeping in, going away as a couple, reading a book, gardening, going for a bike ride……….so many things that can assist in maintaining your Wellbeing.
Think about your home life. Your relationships and connections. How are things for you right now? Partner…..? Family? Interacting and engaging with children? Catchup with friends? Do you think you are taking the time to look after you?
Then think about the time you spend with your child or children. How is that structured? How do you plan time with each child? What do you do in that time? It’s challenging on our busy lives to find time. And often in families where there are several children, it can be even more challenging to find individual one on one time. That is a challenge….but it is essential.
I encourage you to reflect on the connections that you have. And see what one thing you can change to do things differently.
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