We sat down with Roma Khetarpal, author of an award-winning book and Founder of Tools of Growth, to talk about how parents can build their relationships with their children. Below are her top parenting tips for becoming more approachable, how to build a connection with your kids, how to manage emotions in conflict, and more.
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Key takeaways for becoming the “perfect” parent
- Remain open minded and open hearted as a parent. Build a foundation of trust and ensure that your children are comfortable approaching you in times of conflict.
- Use your five senses and your intuition to connect with your children. Listen to your kids, avoid cutting them off in the middle of their sentence, give them the opportunity to complete their thoughts.
- Reasonable parenting is having the ability to reason with your children. Responsible parenting is having the ability to respond to your kids.
- Manage your own emotions and always practice being kind to your children.
Approachable parenting builds trust
As parents, we want to be approachable to our kids and we want our children to feel comfortable coming to us in times of confusion or conflict. So, it’s important that parents set the foundation for their children. Everything begins and ends with parents, so it is up to them to chart the direction for their children. Trust is built step-by-step. Practice being firm yet flexible. Make guidelines but keep rules to a minimum. Focus on remaining open minded and open hearted. –Roma Khetarpal, Tools of Growth
Sensible parenting builds connection
Sensible parenting is using your five senses and your intuition to connect with your kids. When you speak to your children, speak to them kindly. When you are right, practice being kind first. Ensure that the language you are using feels good for both you and your child. Listen to your children, don’t just hear what they have to say, but really listen to them. Avoid cutting your children off in the middle of their sentence, give them the opportunity to complete their thoughts. Mostly kids just want to share. So if there is conflict or chaos, it’s even more important to just listen. Make eye contact with your children. When you’re talking to your child, especially in a time of disconnect, try putting your hand on your child’s back or shoulder. This shows that you are supportive of your child, even if you are in a period of discourse. –Roma Khetarpal, Tools of Growth
Reasonable and responsible parenting builds understanding
Reasonable parenting is having the ability to reason with your children. Responsible parenting is having the ability to respond to your kids. There are three facets in communication: thoughts, feelings, and expressions. Thoughts come from out intellect. Feelings come from our emotions. Expressions are how we act, the words we use, and our tone of voice when we communicate with our children. When parents balance children’s feelings that’s when they can access their intellect. If you’re trying to deal with your child’s feelings try to spot it, say it, and okay it. So spot the feeling, say it out loud, and okay the feeling. If you tone down the temperature of the emotion, then you can reason with your children. Being able to reason is having the ability to ask the right questions that focus on the object as opposed to the subject and ask open ended questions that encourage communication.
Once you’re reasonable and you’ve balance your own emotional landscape, being a responsible parent is easy. –Roma Khetarpal, Tools of Growth
When you are right, practice being kind first
Avoid saying things like “I told you so”, or “didn’t I warn you”. Manage your own emotions. Practice two way communication with your children. Think about ways to open up the conversation, so that you can come together as a family. When you can remain kind as a parent, that’s when you become approachable. Being kind can really shape your child’s personality. –Roma Khetarpal, Tools of Growth
Align your intentions with your goal
Parents all start of with the right intentions. Somehow, while parents have good intentions it doesn’t always show in their behaviors. So parents should align their intentions to their higher goal. Remember that you are working towards building your relationship with your children. If you focus on your relationship with your child then you can turn disconnection into connection.
Make time for having fun. Parents and children run to their gadgets when they have free time. So, it’s important to allot time for having fun and connecting with your children. –Roma Khetarpal, Tools of Growth
What are some tactical parenting tips?
Cultivate positive habits early on with your children. Take five minutes a day to do nothing with your children. Do nothing at all and don’t use your gadgets for five minutes, every day. You can go for a walk together or sit out in the backyard, whatever you can do for five minutes a day. If you have a teen who wants to check social media during your five minute break tell them it’s hard for you too but they need to hold off for five minutes. This becomes the foundation for connection. –Roma Khetarpal, Tools of Growth
A good role model is a good rule model. Can you describe what a role model is and what a rule model is?
As parents, we want to role model the best behavior for our children. Technology makes it difficult for parents to set boundaries and guidelines for themselves. So when it comes to setting guidelines for children, it can be hard. If you have some basic guidelines about technology for your children, be sure that you follow those guidelines as well. As children get older, do away with the word rule and use flexible words like boundary or guideline. When it comes to technology, some rules need to be in place to protect children’s safety and it’s important to follow those rules first. –Roma Khetarpal, Tools of Growth