1.17.2018

How to teach your kids to build healthy relationships


As a single mom how do you build a healthy relationship with your child

What if when you went home tonight, the police came to your door and said your husband was under arrest?  What if your husband went to prison?
 What would you tell your kids?

I think it is important that we be honest with our kids and tell them the exact reasoning without hurting them. We can help them understand in a way so that kids will understand.  We can help our kids during this difficult time if we remember the following:

1.       Start with trust, the foundation of every good relationship 
Your child trusts you to be honest with her. If there is an absence in the family due to incarceration, it is better to be up front with your child than to "protect them" from the truth. Your child will have her own process to go through as she adjusts to this new way of life. She needs you to be constant and open with her during this time.
Trust does not mean blindly believing what your teenager tells you. Trust means not giving up on your child, no matter what she does. Trust means never walking away from the relationship in frustration, because you trust that she needs you and that you will find a way to work things out.

2.       Respect/  Teach by example
There is a common adage that says, "respect must be earned." But how can a child earn respect if they do not understand what it is? Respect is not an innate characteristic of a small child. As a parent, you play the most important role in teaching children what respect means.
Respect your kids. Don’t ask too many questions. Instead of asking,
“How was school today?”
“Was the science test hard?”
“What did you have for lunch?”
Try, “Welcome home. I’m so glad to see you!”
Let your children open up to you.

  Teach by example
Your children are learning from your example. They will learn how to respond to confrontation, stress, and fear by how you respond.
If you tell your child it's disrespectful to interrupt when an adult is speaking, but then interrupt when your child is talking, what example are giving? Your words about being respectful don't make a difference if you aren't teaching by example.

4.       Prioritize time with your child
As a single parent, you will feel pressured to be both father and mother, parent and breadwinner. Your child needs to spend time with you, but if you are stretched thin between responsibilities and obligations, you can't give your child quality time. Gather around you a strong support group upon whom you can rely.
In relationships, without quantity, there’s no quality. You can’t expect a good relationship with your daughter if you spend all your time at work and she spends all her time with her friends. So as hard as it is with the pressures of job and daily life, if we want a better relationship with our kids, we have to free up the time to make that happen.

5.       Build them up
So many things can affect a child's self-esteem. The way you treat your child should not tear them down. Encouraging words can influence how their day goes despite how their friends and others treat them. Children need to know that you have their back and that they have a safe refuge from the world. Pray with and for them before sending your kids out the door with a smile. Children who feel good about themselves are more likely to give respect to others.

 6) Encourage, Encourage, Encourage
Think of your child as a plant who is programmed to grow and grow. Your kid is like that they are given to us to nurture and grow. Encourage them to keep going, tell them they are doing a great job, tell them you are proud of them, when you show them they are doing a great job and When kids learn to do things for themselves and feel proud of what they can do, they feel capable. I feel this is very important if a parent is incarcerated because as a child they may feel like they are losing out on things, they may blame themselves and act out but if we show them we are proud of them, it makes a world of difference. 


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