By Josephine Oguntoyinbo
Strengthening the parent -child relationship requires work and effort. Parenting is a tough job, but by maintaining a close relationship and open communication with your children, parents can stay connected to them during all stages of life.
However, when you consciously or unconsciously delegate your responsibilities to another, you have become a surrogate mother because your primary responsibility as a mother is to nourish, nurture and protect your children. After all, that was what your womb did to them while they were still in the foetal stage.
I believe God gave the woman a womb to differentiate her from a man; so that she would know that the primary responsibility of nourishing, nurturing and protecting a child is hers. The man is however, expected to team up with the woman in ensuring the proper discharge of these duties.
Therefore, create time for your children, no matter how tight your schedule is. Make it a physical appointment, not virtual. Do not be an e-mother.
It is necessary to pay special attention to your teenage children. The period is a very crucial time in their lives because they are transiting from Childhood to adulthood. Remember not to treat them as children and at the same time, do not give them total freedom like an adult.
Mothers, befriend your teenage children. Make them your best friend by creating a friendly atmosphere for them. Be approachable, give them prompt attention and always assure them that you love them and will always be there for them.
It is important to always investigate matters thoroughly. When a child/teen is punished for no just cause, it could stir up rebellion in them.
Likewise, you must ensure adequate protection for them. Do not send them to places that will pose a threat to them. For instance, sending a teenage girl on an errand, unaccompanied, in the evening, is not ideal.
Mothers should not be too busy making money at the expense of training their children because your money will not bury the shame if it eventually comes.
When it comes to spiritual matters, tell them about the love of God and pray for them to embrace it. However, let your lifestyle show what you preach so that they can be convinced that serving God is real.
Serving God is not about fulfilling Laws, rather; it is about having a relationship based on genuine Love for God. Love for God will make them do the will and commands of God.
However, serving God does not mean you should not be up to date with issues. Though you are not of the world, you still live in the world. Never become obsolete to your children; it will not pay you.
A strong parent-child connection actually makes parenting easier since children who feel more connected to their parents are more inclined to want to listen, help and follow directions. Children who feel connected also are more willing to talk to their parents about problems with friends or in school.
Reading bedtime books or telling stories to children creates lifelong rituals. Bedtime is a separation and creating a ritual makes kids feel more safe. Bedtime may also be the only time working parents share with their kids so try and make it calm and enjoyable. Once children start reading, have them read a page, chapter or short book to you. Even most teenagers still enjoy the ritual of being told good night in a special way by a parent.
Do not fail in your responsibilities as a parent.