Parenting is more than a full time job. It is a twenty four hour a day / seven days a week commitment to develop and enhance the life of another human being. In order to do this effectively, you have to build a strong relationship, based on trust and communication. Doing this is not an easy task, but understanding some basic principals can help.
First and foremost, you must commit to being there for your child. There will be ups and downs in your child's life. There will be times full of triumph, and there will also be times when your child makes you want to pull your hair out. Through it all, make sure you are available for your child. If your child knows you are present, she will be more likely to turn to you in times of trouble, giving you opportunities to help her find her way out. A parent who ignores this rule will certainly have a more difficult time building any kind of trusting relationship with their child.
In addition to being present, you must commit to listen to your child. There will be times when you do not really want to hear what your child has to say, but those are the most important times of all to just listen. Your child needs to know that she can turn to you, and talk to you, without having you always pass judgement on her. She wants to know that she has your support even when the cards are down. Make sure time to talk to your child every week, and always give your child the opportunity to come to you and talk whenever necessary.
In addition to listening to your child and being present, it is important to make sure you and your partner are on the same team when it comes to how you choose to parent your child. You do not want to be butting heads with your partner every time you decide on a discipline tactic or way to reward your child. If the two of you have equal footing when it comes to parenting, as well as respect each other's ideas and principals, things will go much smoother within your family. In addition, this will help both of you to build the respect of your children today and into the future.
Finally, know the people outside of your family who are in your child's life. It is important for a parent to build a relationship with their child's teachers, coaches, friends and the parents of their friends. Anyone who spends time with your child is worth knowing. Doing this will help you to understand the influence those individuals have on your child, and it will also help you to make educated decisions about the people who have the greatest potential of positively or negatively influencing your child.
Building a strong bond with your child is essential if you hope to raise her in a positive way. Take the time to reread this advice and put the principles to work. This will enhance your family and help you to truly enjoy the tasks involved in raising your child.