As my kids get older (oldest a teenager) and my role as a parent changes, this article was super helpful for me and my wife. I hope it is for you as well:
I’m sure that as you look around you see other families who have rather interesting relationships with their kids. Some parents seem to have a boss/servant relationship with their children, as if the parents own their kids. They order them around as if they were slaves, being demanding about obedience and respect. Others act like a policeman allowing children to do anything they want within boundaries. When the children move outside the boundaries then the parent blows the whistle to get them back in line. Other parents have a little prince relationship with their children. These parents go out of their way to make their children happy, sometimes trying to make up for their own unhappiness as a child.
A better analogy is the one that views the parent as a coach. Your children need training every day, involving teaching, correcting, firmness, and encouragement. A coach builds a relationship with the child, recognizes weaknesses and equips the child to succeed. When a runner falls down, a good coach doesn’t condemn but motivates to excellence through support and encouragement. The coach and the athlete are both on the same side, working to make that young person successful.
Don’t let childish problems like anger, impulsiveness, or meanness motivate you to become an opponent to your children, allowing the problem to come between you. Instead, partner with your children, moving the problem to the side, with you and your child working together to conquer it. Your attitude in conflict will mean all the difference for a child who needs to be coached out of immaturity. Children need to know that their parents believe in them. It helps them in the deepest areas of their hearts.
This parenting tip comes from the book Home Improvement, the Parenting Book You Can Read to Your Kids by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.