Why Do I Need to Balance Discipline and a Relationship?

Why Do I Need to Balance Discipline and a Relationship?

If you are concerned because your home environment is one of tension and chaos then looking at your parenting style may be a key. Improving your parenting is not all about structure and discipline although I think providing a stable environment where your children feel secure and know what is expected of them is very important. But without a healthy, loving relationship with your child they will not be motivated to listen to you or abide by your guidelines.

According to Nicole Schwarz, parent coach and licensed family therapist “It is the value of our connection that determines how well they listen to us, accept our limits and values, and cooperate.” 

Establishing and maintaining the relationship takes intention, your child needs to know that you care about them. Are you someone who makes it a priority to spend time with them, listen to their concerns and show them respect?

Spending quality time can be doing things with your child that they enjoy but it can also mean taking the time to listen to their concerns. I often hear a parent say “My child does not open up to me”. I understand this can be a problem but that usually happens when the child feels judged for their ideas or they don’t think you really want to hear from them because you are distracted by your phone or work or any number of things.

I found with my own children that bedtime was a good time to connect. I would go in and sit on the edge of the bed and ask open ended questions and then sit back and listen. I would try to be an encourager not critical. I would show respect for their ideas and feelings, not minimize them. If they feel that you are invested in them and really care then they are more likely to trust your guidance and discipline when the time comes.

We forget about how important this relationship is and sometimes the environment in the home can become so negative and tense that we loose motivation to work on the relationship. But if you think about it in your own life the concept makes sense. I think each of us would be more likely to work hard for a boss who has shown interest in us, who listens to our concerns and who shows us respect. Investing in the relationship improves the family tone and environment.

Maintaining a balance between discipline and a relationship does take intention. Discipline can feel very negative and harsh to a child so make sure they know that it comes from a place of caring and love. That you value them, the unique person that they are and their opinions and views.

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Written by Lisa Strong

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