Connecting with Your Child
As our infants grow into toddlers and do less nuzzling and more NO-ing, how do we maintain a strong connection while setting the necessary limits?
Can we keep the relationship close as our child starts daycare or preschool and we teach her to problem-solve and navigate her own path?
As our kids move into the school years and out into the world, how do we stay connected so they WANT to follow our expectations?
And as our kids evolve into teenagers -- when we get fired as the boss -- how can we make sure we have the necessary trust and intimacy with them so that we get rehired as consultants?
In this Section
Being close to another human takes work. But 90% of people on their deathbed say that their biggest regret is that they didn't get closer to the people in their lives. And almost all parents whose children are grown say they wish they had spent more time with their kids.
Connection Parenting is simply knowing that your relationship with your child is not only the most important part of parenting, it's what makes it possible to parent effectively. Kids only cooperate because of who we are to them. Without a great relationship, it’s very hard to parent. A close bond not only makes our kids want to please us, it gives us access to our natural parenting know-how.
When we recollect our children physically into our orbit, we need to recollect them emotionally as well. All parents need to repeatedly reconnect with their children, just to repair the daily erosion created by life’s normal separations and distractions. Effective parenting is almost impossible until the positive connection with your child has been re-established, so think of this as preventive maintenance, before there’s a problem.
Intimacy is hard to define, but we all know when we're feeling it. Whether it's crying on your best friend's shoulder after a tragedy or snuggling in companionable silence with your partner at the end of a long day, intimacy is when we feel connected. Intimacy is the glue that holds families together. It's what connects us over the years, and across the miles. It's what gets us through the hard times. It's the grease that smoothes the rough interactions of everyday life, and the honey that makes it all worth it.
You think you hate playing with your child. But what if I gave you permission to set a timer and forget about your To-Do list and just connect with your child for ten minutes? What if I promised that if you do this on a regular basis, your child will become more cooperative, and you will feel more energized? What if it helped you become a happier parent?
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Cherishing our babies is natural, if we listen to our instincts. It is our secret weapon, the nourishment that helps them grow inside, the source of self esteem, the foundation on which their ability to love and be loved rests. This expectation of being loved is what allows our children to learn so quickly, to risk bumps and scrapes and hurt feelings: the security of knowing that someone who adores them is watching out for them, supporting their growth. Cherishment is the security of unconditional love.