We mentioned yesterday that many teens report that parents are still a major influence in their lives but are there things that can happen to cause parents to loose influence in their children’s lives?  The answer is sadly yes, there are a few ways this can happen.  First, when the relationship is not a priority it is hard for a parent to have a high level of respect and influence in their child’s life.  Relationship takes time. One of the ways we can give our child one on one time is “dating” our children.  Taking time out to spend with them individually to give them a chance to open up and talk.  Children are very intuitive when the relationship isn’t a priority they can sense it and it causes them to feel devalued to their parents.  Another way that we loose influence may seem counter-intuitive, it happens when we don’t have a plan for discipline.  Children thrive in structure and they function best when they know what to expect.  When we don’t have boundaries set up and clearly communicated consequences and rewards in place the relationship can suffer.  It is easy for the parent to become the consequence in this scenario because they may have to fall back on yelling or using the relationship as a consequence. Click here and here for more on both these topics.

It is easy to see that when the parent/child relationship suffers we loose influence in our children’s lives.  Listen to today’s podcast for more on this.