One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to get to know your child. Get down on his or her level instead of making them come to yours. It shows them that you care and you will learn some very important things about your child. Often times, parent’s get busy and do not have the time or should I say take the time to get to know their child. It’s funny, but when we need to find time for other important things, we can find the time. Now is the time for you to make that time for your child.

Find out what your child’s interests are. If he or she enjoys roller skating, take a Saturday afternoon and spend a couple of hours rolling skating. Then if he or she enjoys ice cream, stop for an ice cream cone on the way home. You might find your child opening up about things going on in their life, by the time you get home. Many times, your child just wants to know that you’re interested in what’s going on in their life. Communication is the key. Don’t be too busy for it.

Another point to make is that when children are very young, it is easy to relate to them and peanut butter kisses are the norm. When children start to go through puberty about the age of 12 (approximate), they tend to pull away from Mom and Dad as they discover who they are. This is the time where they don’t just accept Mom’s and Dad’s choices for them anymore. So, don’t be surprised when you feel them emotionally disconnecting from you. It is important, not to jump on them when they make choices that you deem inappropriate, but try to understand and point out why they weren’t the best choices.

Remember that we all make mistakes which help us not make that mistake again. Your child needs to be free to make mistakes. As parents, our job is to guide them through this time. That’s why it is so important to connect with your child through their preteen and teen years. Patience is the key. They need to know that you are truly on their side. The points brought up at the beginning of this article about finding the time to spend with your child is even more important now, as they go through these difficult, yet necessary changes.

I’m not saying that you need to be your child’s friend and only a friend. While being an understanding parent is important, it does not mean that explaining the consequences for actions and necessary discipline is to be left out of this equation.

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