Parenting Tips

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Be Your Kids’ Friend

The saying goes: “When a child errs, it is the parents’ fault.” As parents, we are actually responsible for our kids’ actions. To gain trust from your kids, the best way is to be their friend. And how do we do that???

Establish rapport
  • Spend time communicating with them
  • Spend time listening to their woes
  • Share their joys
  • Observe and discuss interesting topics together
  • Do things together
  • Bring yourself down to their level

It is not quantity time that children need. Quality time is important, sharing and doing things of interest together. When they are at ease with you, they will then open up and share with you happenings in school or what their friends are doing. When they need advice, offer it. More often than not, they will be thankful and heed the advice given.

Build trust

  • Let them be responsible for their actions
  • Avoid reprimanding them in public
  • Allow privacy

When children misbehave in the public, parents can give them warning. Scolding them in public will only make them lose face and ‘hate’ their parents. Exert punishment only when you get home. That way, they will know that you care for their feelings.

Like adults, children would want some private moments at times. Respect that and leave them alone. When they feel that they want to open up, they will still come to you.

Reflect upon ourselves

  • Be role models to them
  • Admit mistake if we did wrong
  • Ask acceptance of apology

Children always look to their parents as role models. Parents are also human and do make mistakes at times. By admitting and getting their acceptance will only earn their respect even more. So the saying goes: Learn from mistake and gain from it.

Use technology

  • Make use of modern gadgets such as handphone and the internet
  • Set usage limit and stick to it

In Singapore, the technology pace is growing very fast. Parents just have to also catch up with the times and learn to use these modern gadgets. I remembered I dread buying the handphone for a long time but to communicate with my kids, I just had to follow suit.


I would not say it is easy to apply the above tips all the time. However, if parents can do that, it would be good for their children in developing values such as respect, honesty, diligence and self-confidence.

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