Stop and Listen: Connecting With Your Kids
Life today moves fast, and we are often focused on getting to the next place on time or doing the next thing on the ‘to do’ list. With so many tasks to be completed and a never-ending list of demands, parents can forget to take the time to connect with their kids. All parents love their children, but children need to feel connected and secure more often than parents may realize.
A child’s world is much simpler, and they don’t often recognize the demands parents are under. These different perspectives on the world can lead to conflict, and in the world of a child, whining or acting out is often indicative of a desire for your attention.
So how can you connect with your child when you are in the throes of daily life?
Don’t schedule yet another activity. Instead focus on simple interaction. The next time your child asks for your attention either directly or more likely indirectly, stop what you are doing, get down on their level, and just listen.
Resist the natural tendency to start asking lots of questions or to try to ‘solve it.’ Don’t direct the play, instead follow what it is your child is doing. Make eye contact, smile and wait. By doing this you are meeting them where they are, and this is where the true connection happens. When a child feels loved and validated in this way, true emotional growth appears.
Make it a point to connect with your children regularly. You will avoid meltdowns, experience less sibling rivalry, and your children will feel more secure and loved.