Episode 58: Developing a Healthy Parent-Child Relationship

In this episode of The Family Couch, we talk with Tyra Lane-Kingsland about how to have a heart transformation as you’re working with your child to develop a healthy parent-child relationship.

We jump right in and discuss what heart-centered parenting means.  Lane-Kingsland had experienced trauma in her childhood, including verbal abuse, neglect and physical abuse.  As Lane-Kingsland was parenting her children, she noticed that her reactions to things her children would do were not always in line with the infraction.  She had to assess why she was responding that way and what was really going on in the moment within herself. She determined she had to change her heart in order to reach her childrens’ hearts.  Lane-Kingsland uses the analogy of a filter within a home. We have to change them at least quarterly–if we do not, all of the allergens and dust block the flow of the air. This is the same with our hearts.  Hurt, pain and life experiences build up on our filter, and our ability to convey and relay love to children becomes hampered.

Most parental preparation is on meeting temporal needs like feeding schedules and diapering schedules. The essence of parenting, though, is meeting our children’s mental, social, emotional and spiritual needs.  To train parents in this ability, we have to determine what we believe. Lane-Kingsland provides that in the African-American culture, there are many commonly held beliefs that do not support the parenting experience.  As an example, “Children are seen and not heard.” We have to determine what we believe about the child’s role, the parents’ role, the mother’s role, the father’s role, grandparents, teachers, etc. When we do this, we must realize that our job as a parent is to cultivate the child’s uniqueness.  Each child is their own unique person. We often expect them to be carbon copies of ourselves, which is a recipe for disaster.

We discuss “mom-shame,” and how mother’s often feel that their children’s behavior is a reflection of them as a parent.  Lane-Kingsland provides that mom-shame often results in the parent over-disciplining and over-parenting, and the child is probably wondering what happened because the behavior is something they do all the time which is suddenly not allowed.  Lane-Kingsland provides strategies for gaining resilience in the face of parent shame. One of the strategies is to modify expectations. We can do this by assessing our child’s unique ability, personality, and temperament, then leaving room for our child to be themselves.  We also need to listen to our own instincts. Our inside may be saying that we love our children and their quirks and creativity. Lane-Kingsland uses her son as an example. He makes noises and talks out loud at times that others may find inappropriate, but she has embraced her son’s freedom and wittiness and thinks he’s funny.  She is learning freedom and flexibility in watching her son.

We next discuss why it may be difficult for parents to embrace their child’s unique personalities.  Lane-Kingsland provides that it is difficult because we all want to be accepted. We tend to think that acceptance equals love.  We want to do whatever we can do to fit in the box. If society perceives that if children are well-behaved if they’re quiet, we begin to feel accepted if our children are being quiet in the store.  Lane-Kingsland talks about a chapter in her book about accepting differences, which is very difficult. We need to model the behavior that we want in our children, so we need to show them that we are okay with our differences and personality so that they can feel good about theirs.

If parents may be a little confused about who they are, Lane-Kingsland believes that a person needs to acknowledge their natural knowledge, skill, gift and ability.  She feels that we are all wired with creative genius and should not minimize our abilities. She has always been a talker, with negative comments on her report card about talking in class.  Her father got her voice-over work as an outlet to talk. Lane-Kingsland also recommends examining our values. Do you value health? Relationships? Spirituality? We need to creative opportunities to live out our values.  If your children saw you bury your dreams or if your hope was deferred, what would that do for them? When your children see you living out your own dreams, they know they can do it, too. If you have suppressed some of your own desires and dreams, it will internalize and you may become resentful, bitter, and angry.  There is no way this will not come out in your parenting. Even though these things are difficult, they truly are the gift that keeps on giving. Lane-Kingsland provides that if we can go into our own hearts and perform heart surgery on ourselves, we can give children the love they need and deserve.



Tyra Lane-Kingsland is a mother of six children who is also the women’s group leader at her church for over six years now.  She is the author of the parenting book Purposeful Parenting: Allowing God to Change Your Heart so He Can Reach Theirs.  Lane-Kingsland also raised her sister during her teen years after her mother passed away when Lane-Kingsland was 18.  She is the founder of Inspired Life, where she focuses on parent coaching.



WEBSITE: http://www.inspiredtolivefully.com/

BOOK: Purposeful Parenting on Amazon

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