Relationship Advice: The Importance of Working Together to Influence Your Child

October 13, 2011 by

Many people come to Portland relationship counseling looking for relationship advice that will help them not only become a better spouse but also a better parent. Luckily, they are often one and the same thing! By improving your communication skills with your partner, you will be able to better work together to influence your child.

For example, if it is important to you that your child becomes a better reader, takes up a musical instrument, or joins a sport, many parents try the usual tactics: nagging, reprimands, and huge incentives. But in the end, force just doesn’t work. In fact, the more desperate you seem, the more your child will resist.

Relationship Advice: Start by Talking to Your Partner

Sit down with your partner and define goals. Let’s say you want your child to take up a musical instrument. Together you can work toward influencing your child in this direction. You can use environmental cues, such as leaving musical instruments around the home or playing classical music. You can “model” the desired behavior by playing an instrument yourself.

When it comes time to offer your child musical lessons, be sure to provide options. Just because you played the trumpet, doesn’t mean your child will be interested in it. And it can also be helpful to let your child know that they have control. If your child doesn’t like a particular instrument after a month of lessons, no problem, he or she can move on to something else.

Together, you and your spouse can create an environment that encourages your child to take an interest in music. By taking on the same strategy, you will be more effective than you would be working alone or by trying competing approaches. But it all starts with that initial conversation where you decide on goals together and support each other.

If you are having trouble communicating and need relationship advice, consider working on becoming better partners and better parents in Portland relationship counseling.