Parenting Truths 7: This is a long conversation

I've written about this before: Parenting is a loooooong conversation with your kid. I touched on it yesterday, that you get years and years to watch your child's personality unfold. But you also get all those years to communicate. 

Everything you do is part of the conversation. Every hug. Every fight. Every time you help your child learn a new skill. Every time you scold your child for not doing something. Every time you discipline your child or teach your child or praise your child. Every heart-to-heart you have. Every time they ask you about sex and you answer (or, unfortunately, don't answer). It's all part of this epic conversation that lasts for as many decades as you're lucky enough to have together.

That means that no one interaction is going to ruin things. Even a long stretch of bad interactions won't ruin things. As long as you can keep the conversation as loving and supportive as it can be, occasional bad interactions won't knock things off the track.

Play the long game. Decide what you want the conversation to feel like, for you and for your child. And then keep returning to that whenever you can, even when an interaction goes poorly.