A parent’s job is a balancing act and finding that balance in life takes hard work, perseverance and a lot of patience. Because of the challenges that parents face today such as dealing with stress or financial woes, bonding with their own children takes a back seat.
This bond that needs to be nurtured and encouraged is commonly known as attunement. Janie Lacy, a licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in relationship difficulties defines attunement as the attempt “to respond to your child’s emotional needs, resulting in the child’s sense of being understood and valued.”
The following concepts from The Emotional Life (a PBS blog) foster healthy emotional relationships between parents and their children and support a dependable attachment.
1) Practice patience when it comes to dealing with your child’s temperament. Accept them for who they are and teach them how to do the same – they will gain a sense of self-worth as well as gain confidence with their identity.
2) Invest in both quantity and quality time with your children. Talk to them, find out what their interests are, read them stories. If one or the other has to be sacrificed then make sure the time you do have with them counts.
3) Being affectionate with your children promotes “relationships that are nurturing and secure.” Whether it’s having a tickle fight or a wrestling match, make a point to interact with your children. Remember to give them hugs everyday and kiss them goodnight. “Know which type of touch feels good to your children and then respond in that way every chance you get. This may change as they get older so don’t take it personally if they are not as receptive; just be willing to give affirming touch when you can.”
4) Disciplining your children has positive repercussions. It teaches them life lessons and long-lasting values. Also, recognize negative emotions so you don’t brush off their feelings. Remember to demonstrate good behavior so they can learn from you, their role models.
5) “Demonstrate TENACITY to your children – when we stick to something and remain persistent in the face of stress this is tenacity. Tenacity helps create a resilient family structure, one that generates warmth with clear limits and realistic and constructive boundaries.”
The Villa Orlando and Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge are adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment centers for clients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs and Life Skills training. Pasadena Villa’s Outpatient Center in Raleigh, North Carolina offers partial hospitalization (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (PHP). If you or someone you know may need mental health services, please complete our contact form or call us at 407-574-5190 for more information.