As a parent, it’s difficult sometimes to know when you should act, when you should get involved, or when you should just sit back and allow your children to do things on their own. It’s also sometimes difficult to spot problems until they’ve reached a boiling point.
This is why you need to address issues when they happen, solve problems as soon as you can, and don’t avoid difficult topics of conversation. Troubles will only build and get worse. You don’t want to wait for life to fall apart to make changes. We have to be vigilant in our parenting, proactive within our families, and ready to act before things go off the rails. This will require some effort on your part.
1. Observe attitudes
- How are your children behaving?
- How do they speak to you?
- How do they speak to their siblings?
It’s important to observe the attitudes and behaviors of your children on a regular basis. This is how you can get clued in if something is wrong or if your child is struggling with something in their life.
2. Monitor outside influences
If you’re too busy to listen, someone else will. It’s important that you monitor outside influences on your children on a regular basis.
- Who they are talking to?
- Who are they spending time with?
- Are these good, positive influences?
3. Let Go of Fear
Sometimes you need to pull back and give your child some age-appropriate space. This doesn’t mean someone else will just swoop in and fill your role instantly. If you’ve laid the groundwork for a solid foundation in the relationship, you have no reason to fear giving your children a little space. This is how you show them respect and also that you trust them. Be there when they need you, but also be willing to step back.
4. Consider Internal Struggles
With our busy schedules, we can forget our children have struggled.
- We scold them when they don’t do something right away.
- We yell before we listen.
- We make accusations without knowing the full story.
As a mom, I understand. Honestly, I’ve done all of these with every child. Why? Because I was in a hurry. I didn’t pause long enough to consider the reason for their actions. When we instead take time to get to the heart of the matter, our relationship grows closer.
5. Practice Forgiveness
Offenses and hurt feelings happen. If left unattended, these can cause division. Learning to forgive requires thought and intentionality, not to mention lots of practice. Forgiveness isn’t a short phrase. It’s a heart cleansing. It’s a decision we make before we need to forgive. If we fail to forgive completely or ask for forgiveness we risk having the closeness we desire with those we love most.
You can avoid many struggles within your family if you’re willing to be proactive and not reactive. Do you have any tips to add?