I know I’ll sound like a monster, but I feel irritated with my child. She is so hyperactive and very demanding. We can’t spend a few minutes together without arguing over something. She never listens to me, and she doesn’t seem to do what I tell her unless I shout at her.
Life has been so stressful lately.
I sometimes recall when she was still five, and we used to stroll around the neighborhood and have hugs and tickles in the living room. She would embrace me tightly and tell me she loves me.
What happened to us? Why did we suddenly drift apart? Or was this not sudden? Was this something that slowly happened year by year without me noticing?
How Can I Mend This Relationship?
Disrepair occurs gradually. Perhaps I didn’t even notice that it was happening. I just realized one day that my daughter and I had drifted so very far from one another. When I did, I felt shocked, lonely, frustrated, depressed.
Don’t fret if you are in the same scenario as I am and you feel hopeless and miserable. You don’t have to be trapped in that distant relationship for long. There are some things you can try doing to fix the once beautiful bond you had with your child, even though you might feel like it’s not possible right now.
Below are some simple pieces of advice that you can start doing.
- Accept The Gap. Tell your child what you have noticed and how you really feel about it in a peaceful moment. Her reaction could differ. She might disagree, agree, be indifferent, or worried. Whatever her reaction might be, concentrate on your own emotions and thoughts instead of pushing her to agree with you. You can say, “I noticed that things have not been good between us lately, and it bothers me. I would really like to ease the tension.”
- Do Activities Together. Instead of just permitting the gap to go on, work on finding something healthy to do that would provide an opportunity for you and your child to spend quality time together. It could be playing a board game or video game, swimming, or shopping. Sometimes, it’s great to be with each other in silence instead of forcing one another to talk. If your child does not cooperate, be open and continue to find other chances to spend time with her.
- Do Something Unusual. Substitute unpleasant memories and communication patterns with healthy or positive ones. This may mean learning how to breathe deeply before reacting to your child, concentrating on hearing her out instead of instantly reprimanding him, or working on being more compassionate even though, at times, you don’t agree with her. It could take a little more time for these fresh steps to become routines, but allow yourself space to adapt to these changes.
- Compensate For Misgivings. Instead of criticizing your child’s actions or conduct, accept responsibility for playing your part in the mess. Have you been too controlling, impatient, or busy? Say sorry and try working on making things right between you and your child. Avoid using words like ‘you should have’ or, ‘but you would have.’ Keep in simple, like, “Hey, I’m sorry for being busy and irritable after school these days. Right now, I’ll set my phone aside so I can concentrate on listening to you better.
- Practice Patience. Among the most daunting parts of fixing a broken bond is not having control of the other individual. If you are working on a fix, do not push it too far. There are some days when your efforts seem not to make a difference. Your son or daughter may be doubtful of your intentions or skeptical if you will be consistent this time. Most importantly, your child wishes to see if you value and love them and bond with them. Your efforts won’t be in vain, although it may not be that quick to see the outcomes.
- Seek Professional Assistance. If the connection with your child is destroyed because of neglect, addiction, abuse, or mental health issues, or if it is not really improving, it would be wise to ask for help from a mental health provider. A therapist is capable of helping you and your child efficiently traverses the stormy weather of learning new abilities, practicing healthy habits, and building trust. This does not signify weakness; it is a sign that you acknowledge the relevance of your relationship and cherish it enough to find help.
Find The Good And Set Aside The Not-So-Good
Fixing a broken relationship can sometimes become a ‘one step up, two steps down’ thing. When you believe you’re doing great, something occurs, and the gap lengthens again. So rather than waiting for things to be perfect, find what’s good and set aside the not-so-good.
For instance, smile when your child arrives home or enters the living room. Notice and tell your child that you appreciate it when she’s at home and spending more time with you. Or perhaps celebrate when you have overcome a challenge without arguing. Just find something healthy and good every day.
Gradually, you will realize that your way of thinking has changed – and your child’s too. Instead of trying to keep away from her, start enjoying her presence again. And when you think that your days of embraces and kisses were over – your child may amaze you.