In this month’s blog we look at the importance of connection with our children, protecting that connection, understanding our children’s feelings, even when they are different to ours, and empowering our children as being capable of great things!
- Connection and Understanding.
We prioritise and pursue connection with our children. Recognising that a child wants to be understood is a huge step towards a strong connection with them. We don’t have to always agree, but we do have to understand.
In Win-Win Parenting (p107) Seth Dahl explains that this can be as simple as saying to your child, “You really feel overwhelmed about having to clean up those toys,” or “It’s not always fun to have to wait to buy a new toy. You wish you had enough money so you could buy it right now and take it home with you today.”
We don’t give in to, or necessarily agree with, what they are feeling, but we do acknowledge them. This is a sign of respect. We are saying to our child, “I respect you enough to know we might look at this situation differently, but I understand what you are feeling.” Oftentimes, this simple act of acknowledging and understanding their feelings is enough for them and will diffuse conflict.
Too often, children grow into teenagers that begin to reject the connection with their parents. In fact, usually, the disconnection has started early on in childhood, but since the parent is not aware of it and investing in it, they are surprised to find the child doesn’t think, need or want the same things. This shock can be avoided by starting early and keeping your connection strong.
- We Believe that Children are Capable!
It is important to teach children valuable life skills so that we set them up for success. Our children need to know that they are capable and this begins with letting them troubleshoot their own problems,
In Win-Win Parenting by Seth and Lauren Dahl, they say,
“What better way to show your child how much you believe they are capable of doing than by letting them solve their own problems? You are there for them, but you are empowering them also. They know you can step in if something dangerous is taking place or they struggle for a long time, but once they have succeeded in problem solving, they will start to grow in confidence.” (p64)
Empowering our children gives them the chance to believe in themselves. If we do everything for them, our children are never given the chance to know what they are capable of accomplishing.” (p62)
By Barbara Cooper – Principal
Many of these thoughts and ideas are based on materials by Danny and Sheri Silk and Brittney Serpell (www.lovingonpurpose.com), and Lauren and Seth Dahl (www.sethdahl.com). Please refer to their websites for further resources.