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How Will You Measure Your Life?

On Building Strong Relationships With Your Children

People often say that having a high-paying job, five degrees, or a dashing resume are not worth much if you have no one to share those accomplishments with. It begs the daring question, “How will you measure your life?”

Healthy Lifestyle

It’s not surprising that relationships are extremely important for health. There is compelling evidence that strong and healthy relationships are big factors for a long, healthy, and happy life. We have heard over and over again about the health risks from isolation-depression and high blood pressure. We can add a higher likeliness to begin cigarette smoking and obesity to that list, too.

So you get it. Relationships are important your health-and healthy relationships with your children are some of the most challenging to create nowadays. It’s easy to get frustrated after a heated argument or because of a very apparent generation gap. There are several magazines that focus on parenthood and how to resolve this problem of miscommunication with your children. However, let me offer you a few ideas to strengthen your relationship with your children. I believe I am blessed to have very healthy relations with my parents and I only hope that all families can share this bond.

1.   Be supportive. This is my number one tip. Many of you have sacrificed a lot in your own lives to give your children the best. Sometimes you have fantasized that they may be an all-star athlete, the valedictorian, or the country’s most established surgeon. Realize that your dreams are not always their dreams. Guide them to be the best at what they want to be. When they see how much you care, they will run to you and want to share their accomplishments with you.

2.   Quality time. Growing up at home, it was mandatory to sit at the table for dinner. There were no phones allowed and it was wonderful. In the past few years, that tradition has diminished, even in my household, but I really recommend that all families adopt this habit. Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had with my parents began at the dinner table.

3.   Learn from them, too. It’s easy to be authoritative and create a divide between you and your children if they fear you as their boss. Realize that fear is not healthy in a relationship. Be disciplined, but remember that your children have more to offer than you expect. Let them teach you about things you may not know and don’t feel ashamed that you can learn from them, too.

According to Dr. Ruby Natale, professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Miami Medical School, a parent’s relationship with his or her child will be reflected in the child’s actions.

“If you don’t have a good relationship with your child, they’re not going to listen to you,” explains Natale. “Think how you relate to other adults. If you have a good relationship with them, you tend to trust them more, listen to their opinions, and agree with them. If it’s someone we just don’t like, we will ignore their opinion.”

Try to strengthen your relationships. It may just make a world of difference.

By Fiza Pirani – Psychology and Journalism Student at Emory University

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