Category Archives: Your brain

Help Your Kids Connect With Others

One thing that is staggeringly clear to me as I get older is that there is very little we were meant to do alone.   The U.S.A. and so many other countries were founded on the concept of independence, meaning independence from tyranny, from unilateral decision making, and from being bossed around.  Progress is usually made through dependence upon each other to enhance ideas, increase productivity, and share life’s ups and downs.

This summer you can explore this dynamic in your life!  Perhaps in a journal, or a list, or in conversations.  How do you give and receive?  How do your children give and receive?  Where do you create opportunities for them to practice?  By naming what you do (especially when your children can’t see it) you show them.  If you find you are doing a lot of giving, give yourself permission to practice receiving.

Being reasonably dependent upon family and friends can be empowering.  Life is full of giving and receiving—the latter being a bigger challenge because it invites dependence. By showing our children how to depend upon us, and how other people can depend upon them, we are preparing them for a rich, fulfilling life.  By showing them how we give, and receive, we are paving a golden way for their future.

Do you ever doubt your importance as a parent?  Let me assure you– you are the connection to the world for your children.  You are their curator, their guide. You are the one who allows them to make mistakes, and creates opportunities for them to try again.  You are the one who can say “No” when they aren’t able.  You are the one who will love them with all of your heart and more deeply than you ever thought possible—and when you parent from a place of connection and unconditional love, you honor and nurture that bond so it becomes the strongest it can be.

 

Are you feeling super connected to your kids?

New York City,  November 2011

Are you feeling super connected to your kids? One of the best ways to stay connected is to start with the natural opportunities life provides us with.

Life provides us with natural greeting times: morning, after naps, pick up time from school, during playtime when your kids wander off and then come back to you and any other time when you haven’t seen your child for a bit and you re-connect.

“…a greeting should collect the eyes, a smile and a nod.” -Gordon Neufeld, PhD, in his book Hold On To Your Kids 

Make those moments as special as you can— take the time to lock eyes, to smile, and say something light to which they can agree.  You can touch,  feel how they are doing, make it clear that you are there for them.  “It’s so good to see you.” “Looks like you did some painting today!”  “I missed you today.”  “I saw you were Tommy’s partner on the way downstairs”… the point is you are saying something that just reminds your child that you are seeing him/her– you’re not asking, interviewing about the day, or by any means saying something negative.  Even if you see something that might seem off– your child pushing, or a ripped shirt, or a missing lunchbox:  these can be addressed, but after you re-connect.

What if I’m in a rush?  Especially if you are in a rush, take that first moment with your child as calmly as you can.  Then, with your body still calm, remind your child, “Today is a speedy day, remember?  We need to get right to music (or soccer, or gymnastics)…”   This should make things easier– you had a grounding moment, a plan, and now you are off together (you could even be “Team Speedy” if you think something cute like that might help streamline your experience).