When you dream of having a child you dream of having that child look up to you, love you unconditionally and be proud of you. You imagine happy days at the park, warm afternoons fishing at the lake, cool days at the ball field or nights tucking them into bed. You imagine a life filled with fun, love and watching them grow. You see them looking up to you and loving you. The question is how do you make it happen?
In todays world there is so much that can get in the way of your dream for your child. Any number of things can happen that will affect the way your relationship with your child will grow, change or die. It is up to you, as the parent, to make every effort to not let the relationship suffer or die. Here is when whatever you do will influence the relationship you have with your child.
One of the most important things is to never make empty promises. Never promise or threaten to do something that you do not plan to follow through on. This goes for everything from punishments to rewards. It also includes everything that you might tell your child you will or will not do. If you tell your child that a particular action will result in a particular reaction you need to be perfectly certain that you can, and will, do as you say. Failure to do so will result in your child doubting you and your words. Simply put, be honest and follow through.
The next thing you can do is always do your best. No matter what you try, what task you tackle, don’t give up until you have given it every bit of effort you can muster. It doesn’t matter if it is a new recipe, a new hobby or a repair. It also doesn’t matter if you succeed or not. What does matter is that your child will see you doing everything you can to accomplish what you started. This will also have a hand in how they handle things in their life as they grow up.
Thirdly, spend time with your child. Your life if full of things that have to be done on deadlines: get to work, get to appointments, feed the pet, cook dinner, wash laundry, cut the grass, etc. Consider your child one of those deadline-based tasks. Let your child help with any number of the tasks. Ask them to color a picture for you while you finish a chore and chat with them about whatever they want to talk about. If your child is too young for this simply have your child near you and talk to them as if they understand every word you say. Include them in your life even in little ways.
The fourth tip is to be honest with your child. Share your feelings: your fears, what makes you happy, what makes you sad, etc. When your child asks you if you have ever done or felt something, be honest. Granted there are certain topics where you will only give as much information as your childs age requires. These are the times that you tell them what you can, without lying, without going too far. This includes topics such as sexual intercourse, where absent parents are and why a family member may have bruises. You have to remember that your child is young, not stupid.
Lastly, never make them think that you know everything. As a parent you may very well know a lot of things. The key is to be human enough to admit when you are not sure, you do not know or have never done something. It may be possible for both of you to learn something new, possibly exciting bit of information. On top of that it would be something you can do with your child to show them that learning still has its uses even as a parent.