How do you keep your children close to you from babyhood to adulthood? It is possible, you just need the right approach and philosophy…………………Every Day

How do you know if you have got it right with your children? How do you judge if you are a successful parent as you watch your child grow up? What mistakes and pitfalls can you avoid and what ones are inevitable? These questions and many more are always in the mind of you as a parent. What you do know is that you want to be the best parent possible to your child.

So where do you start? Right at the beginning, as soon as your child is able to communicate with you. This is the door through which you must walk with your child and never let it close on you. Open communication between you as your child grows up, will allow you to overcome virtually every problem that presents itself to you. In fact even before issues become problems.

As a parent, never have any subject which cannot be discussed openly by you and your child, however uncomfortable it is for you. Strategies like always having a special time of the day when you talk about what has gone on, for both you and your child, will really work. This could be at supper time, or when you child is in bed, or those tender moments just before going to bed. You will find that this lays the foundation for a very strong relationship as your child grows up, and will make your bond together unshakeable.

At these special times, you also need to be telling your child your daily challenges as he needs to be able to relate and understand your world. Of course you need to tailor what you say depending on his age. You say your bit and encourage him to say whatever he wants to. You will be amazed at what you learn. The conversations will change as your child grows older, but will always be open and frank. Those key links you build together will always work whether your child is 2 or 22.

It is really worth making the effort on this, and you and your child will have created a bond which will help you both, and enhance your relationship together for the rest of your lives.

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Help, I just found out my child is taking drugs!

This is probably every parents nightmare, it is the moment you dread finding out about. But however painful it is for you to accept, you have got to face up to it, confront it and take remedial action immediately. This will not be easy, that’s for sure

For starters, your child will probably try to hide it, even though you already know about it. Then he will probably deny it or try to play it down with comments like, “it’s only cannabis”. Even though he may have tried something more serious such as ecstasy.

So you have to act straight away. Leaving it, even if it is just for one week more, could be allowing your child to slip deeper into the habit. So, what can you do?

Firstly you need to sit your child down in a relaxed environment. This could be at the dinner table one evening, or when you have just finished watching a film together. In any case, you have to find the moment, so think hard how and where you can raise this issue.

Being angry or indignant, won’t help the situation or the action you are going to take, so stay calm and try not to raise your voice. If you lose your cool, your child will clam up and won’t talk openly to you about it. It may already be a problem to get him to open up, so being calm will certainly help you.

Ask open ended questions such as:- “What do you think about drug taking and young people?”, or:- “What do you think the appeal of drugs is to young people?”. These are general questions to start the discussion off. Then you can start asking more direct questions, but always make sure they are open ended.

Tell your child that you know he has tried drugs, and ask him why he has done this? What is the reason he is doing it? Who is he doing this with? It is very rare that he will be doing it on his own at such a young age. Also ask him where he does it? And how does it make him feel?

Once you have started off the discussion, and you start to understand why he is doing it, then you can agree a plan of action. If you feel you cannot resolve the situation on your own, don’t be afraid to consult and take professional advice. It is not a weakness to enlist the help of others who have experience in handling these types of situation with young people. So do seek help.

If you address the issue, you will eventually find a solution, but don’t try to ignore it and hope it will go away. If you act as soon as you find out, you will be able to rescue the situation, however difficult that may be. But you will succeed.

 

 

Ask me a Question on Fatherhood. What would you like me to write about in my next Blog Post? Please tell me.

Maybe you have a question you are looking for an answer to, and you haven’t been able to find a satisfactory outcome. So please ask me, whether you are a mother or father, or a parent to be.

The purpose of this Blog is to share ideas, and offer tips and advice on day to day situations that arise, specifically for a Father. Handling the relationship with your children and helping to improve its quality is vital, and time which is very well spent.

I don’t claim to know all the answers, but what I can offer is a different perspective perhaps, and a possible solution to a situation which troubles you. So please contact me and suggest topics to write about, or ask me very specific questions.

I guarantee I will answer every one that I receive. I also hope you are enjoying reading my Blog. Any feedback that you would like to give me is very welcome. Thank you.

How do you find out what goes on in your Children’s lives when they are not with you? Introduce a simple routine at supper time for the whole family.

I’m sure that you have wondered about what happened today to your child. Why is he/she so quiet this evening? Why whenever you ask “how was your day?”, he/she says “fine”, and that’s the end of it! And it doesn’t matter what age your children are…….

I always thought this was a serious problem to solve, and I believe I have done this. It will definitely work for you with your children. This strategy helped me hugely when my children were younger, and it can help you. If you start right when your child is very young, it will continue to work for you as your child gets older and into the teenage years.

To start, you need to be very disciplined and encourage your child to participate. Every supper time when you all sit down together, play “Best and Worst”. This is when you all describe to the other family members the best part of your day and also the worst. Everyone is relaxed, so everyone is happy to do this, including you as their Dad.

While you all sit together, there is a captive audience, and you will be amazed at what you learn. I learnt about bullying at school, and my children learnt about what happened at my work. Your children are eager to know what you do, and love sharing with you what they do with you. Try it, and see what happens, and let me know what unexpected things you learn.