The nuclear family is the most important unit in a person’s life. Many parents come to me and complain that they feel like a bank more than a parent. This bank’s primary aim is to provide money, toys and entertainment to their child whenever the need arises.
I love the bank metaphor and I perceive it in a different light. I see the parents as their child’s emotional banks first and foremost. Any time a child has a challenge, disappointment or frustration in her life, she is in an emotional deficit and she needs her parents to deposit in her some good thoughts, intentions, hope and pure love so she will have a good and positive balance.
Our kids (clients) always come to us (the bank) asking for this emotional support. Most of the times lacking the emotional language they will ask for the physical things and sometime as the bankers we get confused too and give them real money, toys or entertainment like they have asked. Sometimes it is easier for us to, it is easier to rent a movie and let the children watch it then to spend some one on one time with your child. It is important be aware of the difference between the two and to know that emotional support, acknowledgment and understanding are always the first and the most important needs of your child even if they don’t express in explicitly.
If you as a parent feel like a bank in the physical and material sense of the word, it might be an indicator and a cue for you to reexamine your relationship with your child by asking yourself the following questions:
1) How much time do we spend together?
2) How much openness, trust and respect do we have in our communication?
3) Does my child see me as a role model or is he embarrassed of me?
Answering these questions will give you indication where your relationship with your children is at.
Providing money, toys and other material needs are important but this is not the core currency of your relationship. Create your own concept of bank and make sure that emotional transactions are frequent enough to maintain a healthy balance in your relationship with your child.