25 November, 2013

The relationship between parents and their children is one the strongest bonds that human beings can have with each other. This connection is of utmost importance for all children.

Children will develop their sense of self in relation to their parents. If the bond is strong and secure, the child will know that his or her needs are attended to and that it is safe to explore the world, as well as relationships with other people.

Now this sounds almost perfect doesn’t it? Except it sounds like we need to do everything right in relation to our children, otherwise they will damaged forever. I am sure all parents can feel the enormous pressure on their shoulders just by reading this.

In reality though, we will make mistakes and we will probably make a lot of them. This is OK! We all make mistakes, because we are human beings, and making mistakes is our way of improving and learning.

It is important to note though, that any form of physical, emotional and verbal abuse towards children is never acceptable and should not be tolerated.

There are a number of ways to show our children boundaries and respect. The first one is to be the best role model we can be. If we are respectful and polite to other people, our children will learn this from us. If we are not afraid to show our feelings and looking for support from others, our children will do the same. It will make them more resilient and flexible to deal with life’s challenges along the way.

Attachment has long been discussed to be the absolute basis in regard to the development of children. While this is mostly true it does not mean there is no room for error. Not all of us have had the perfect up-bringing. Some of us might have experienced betrayal, the loss of a parent through separation, or abandonment in childhood. These experiences do have an affect on our current adult relationships, which is important to be aware of, as this can lead us to a greater understanding of our vulnerabilities.

Luckily, human beings have the power of healing and integrating pain, betrayal and mistrust – of being happy and adjusted individuals, partners, and parents.



--- Denise Reichenbach is an educator and counsellor with Relationships Australia Queensland