“There's nothing tiny or insignificant. Everything is significant... Whether you are looking at world events or something that's happening in
your kitchen, there's potential for connection or disconnection in either case.
And it is really only the connection or the disconnection that is of any importance.” --
How's your week going? Have you had a moment of connection with your child that made your heart melt?
You need that kind of moment every day, to be a peaceful parent.
Why? Because parenting is hard, and those moments of love are what keep us going. That connection is what reminds us that our child is a young human doing
the best she can, even when we wish she'd act differently. And since we have the privilege of seeing our kids at their worst, that connection renews
our faith so we can keep seeing our child's best potential, even when they can't.
Our kids need those moments too, to trust us. That's when our love really sinks into their souls. When kids are convinced they're lovable, they're more
likely to act lovable. When they're not, they "act out" -- which means they have feelings they don't know how to express, so they act those feelings
What if you could create that deep loving connection as your (almost) constant way of being with your child? It would be like giving yourself a magic wand.
There would be no more yelling in your home. Some heart-felt tears, maybe. Lots of hugging, smiling, laughing, fun.
1. Imagine yourself connecting to your child, feeling deep love, right now. Maybe it's that good morning snuggle with him. Or you're
twirling her around, both of you laughing. Hold that picture for a full 60 seconds. Watch it like a movie. How are you feeling and acting? How
is your child responding? Let that heart-melting, connected feeling soak in. You're programming your subconscious, so you can create more of these
moments in your life.
2. As you go through your day today, notice each time you start to get irritated at your child. Show yourself that warm picture and
feel that feeling again. (Yes, before you correct your child.) Sounds hard? Keep practicing. It gets easier. It helps if you can see things from your
child's perspective instead of getting stuck in yours. There's always more than one way to interpret a situation.
3. Don't try to guide your child when you're angry. Is your child acting out? Intervene to keep everyone safe, and then say "I need to calm down before I speak with you." Then
go calm down and re-center yourself in your loving vision. If your guidance to your child comes from anger or fear, it will backfire. If it comes from
your loving connection with your child, you'll be creating less drama and more love. Every interaction either strengthens or erodes your relationship.
4. Take at least one action TODAY to make that loving image happen. Even a small action moves you in the right direction. Humans connect
most quickly through physical touch. Play is also fool-proof. But it doesn't happen without slowing down, letting go of distractions, and bringing
yourself completely into the interaction with your child. Snuggle on the couch, give a foot rub, or start some roughhousing that gets everyone laughing.
Encourage sibling bonding with a "kids against parents" pillow fight. (Let the kids win.)
5. Give yourself a huge hug. You're a hero just for getting up each morning determined to be the best parent you can be. You don't
have to be perfect. In fact, accepting and loving yourself might be the best gift you can give your child, because it helps you be more emotionally
generous. So hug yourself. Hug your child. And enjoy your magic wand of connection. You're becoming your child's fairy godmother or godfather.
Tomorrow: Repeat. You'll be amazed at the transformation in your home within a week. Love never fails.
Want more practical, kid-tested strategies to make life with your child happier and more rewarding? You'll find them in my new book:
The Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids Workbook:
Using Mindfulness and Connection
to Raise Resilient, Joyful Children and Rediscover your Love of Parenting.