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Parent, child relationship important

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Children’s Corner with PANIC CHILUFYA
THE parent-child relationship is a unique and enduring bond between a caregiver and child who interact with each other physically, emotionally, and socially for the better part of a child’s life. As children mature into adulthood, the relationship with the parents also matures; over time, the once dependent children evolve into independent adults. In some cases, as the children become older, the relationship between the parents and children become stunted. The two get stuck in their old roles, and healthy boundaries become blurred or disintegrate making it difficult for them to relate amicably.
Boundaries are designed to keep the good in and the bad out. It is by setting boundaries that children are taught skills such as saying no even when they are facing extreme peer pressure, telling the truth all the time and maintaining physical distance in the family structure that allows children to take on the responsibility of self-protection.
According to authors Henry Cloud and John Townsend in their book Boundaries, developing boundaries in young children is the proverbial ounce of prevention. If children are taught about responsibility, limit setting and delay of gratification early on, their lives are much smoother as they grow older. Even under pressure children who are taught about boundaries at an early age are likely to make informed decisions regardless of the circumstances they find themselves in. when parents delay to teach their children about setting boundaries it becomes harder for children to appreciate that their parents are trying to protect them. In some cases parents will even experience resistance from their children.
“The work of boundary development in children is the work of learning responsibility. As we teach children the merits and limits of responsibility, we teach them autonomy – we prepare them to take on tasks of adulthood”.
It is therefore, important for a parent to learn to support their children grow into independent adult, as developing boundaries enables them make their way in the world with minimum challenges.
In doing this, parents need to let go of the fear that something will happen to their children; this is the hardest of setting out boundaries because parents are programmed to protecting their children from the day they are born. Parents cannot be there all the time to protect their children. If children are taught about boundaries they will always to do the right thing depending on how they were brought up. Bearing in mind Proverbs 22:6 which says train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Setting boundaries also means that at times parents have to let go of giving advice to older children all the time; otherwise that advice will not be appreciated even when the advice is well intended. For example, older children do not like to be nagged about their eating habits or their choice of clothes because they feel they are old enough to know what is good for them. Some children tend to do the opposite to show their independence especially if they feel that the parents are overstepping set boundaries.
And when children feel that parents are overstepping their boundaries, this leads to resentment; a healthy relationships should be built on mutual trust especially if children were taught right from wrong from an early age. The older children get it is necessary to give them the space to live their lives while maintaining a safe distance in the background to offer parental support when needed.
Remember, children are our future, until next week, take care.
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