5 things you should never share with your child

By Dr Richard C. Woolfson   — November 27, 2019
  • 1 / 11

    You have a very close relationship with your girl. You are there for her through thick and thin, ready to help with every major and minor difficulty, never running out of useful advice and suggestions, and always having her best interests at heart.

    But your child is not your confidant. Learn to set boundaries in your relationship by not sharing excessively about your worries, such as conflict at work or issues with your mother-in-law.

    Here’s a list of dos and don’ts.

    Related: Zoe Tay: I try to have as much bonding as I can with my sons

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  • Do: Be ready to listen
    2 / 11 Do: Be ready to listen

    Knowing you’ll give her your attention, even if it’s something trivial, boosts her confidence and strengthens your relationship.

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  • Do: Give her advice
    3 / 11 Do: Give her advice

    Your responsibility is to advise her on what to do even at times when she would rather take a completely different course of action.

    That’s easier to do when the boundaries are clear in your relationship.

    Related: Parent child bonding: Now they go to spas together

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  • Do: Stay sympathetic when she shares her distress
    4 / 11 Do: Stay sympathetic when she shares her distress

    Effective listening involves empathy. Your tween feels better knowing you understand and feel for her, so let her know that you are concerned.

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  • Do: Make it clear that you are always there for her
    5 / 11 Do: Make it clear that you are always there for her

    It’s important she knows she can rely on you at all times, that you will find time to help and guide her towards the best course of action.

    Related: Why fathers should bond with their children

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  • Do: Set limits
    6 / 11 Do: Set limits

    No matter how close you are to each other, you are more than a confidant. She needs you, for example, to help her stick to a study schedule, to go to bed at the proper time, and to keep her room tidy.

    She is unlikely to set and adhere to these limits herself.

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  • Don't: Burden her with your worries
    7 / 11 Don't: Burden her with your worries

    There is no harm in letting her know when you feel especially stressed.

    However, resist the temptation to tell her all the minute details of your troubles. She has enough to think about without having to worry about your problems, too.

    Related: 6 discipline secrets from Singapore moms

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  • Don't: Forget that you are the mother and she is the child
    8 / 11 Don't: Forget that you are the mother and she is the child

    The responsibility for parenting decisions rests with you, not her. She may be very persuasive, and you may be a good listener, but you’ll decide what’s best for he

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  • Don't: Assume she needs to know you had a similar experience
    9 / 11 Don't: Assume she needs to know you had a similar experience

    She may start to consider you as equals. So whether it’s a happy or sad event she shares with you, be aware that it belongs to the world of childhood.

    Related: How to have a better relationship with my 9 year old daughter?

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  • Don't: Confuse your child with a confidant
    10 / 11 Don't: Confuse your child with a confidant

    That role should fall on your husband, not your child.

    Even if you are a single parent, share your thoughts with a best friend instead.

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  • Don't: Relinquish control to her
    11 / 11 Don't: Relinquish control to her

    It is possible to have full control yet be your child’s friend at the same time.

    Remaining in control is much harder when your tween has become your confidant.

    Related: How this Singapore dad of 4 builds strong bond with every kid

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

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