10 Tips To Connect With Your child
In the modern world, we have to face many challenges in order to raise our kids, the stresses of work, the economic crisis, interpersonal conflicts, the adjustment of mixed families due to divorce and remarriage, new technologies, etc.
A concept to take into account for this task is “attunement”, commonly used to define connectedness between parents and kids. This means that you are attempting to respond to your child’s emotional needs, resulting in the child’s sense of being understood and valued. The level of difficulty to attune depends on personality traits and temperamental variables, both of the children and our own. But it will be at their younger stage that it is possible to be attuned or attached in a healthy way, because the tendency is to drop as they become teenagers.
How can you increase attunement and connect with the children in a way that promotes emotional health?. First we’ll see FIVE SIMPLE CONCEPTS you can use to help promote secure relationship patterns with your children:
1) Accept your Child’s TEMPERAMENT – Since we know this is developed by an early age, it is important for the parents to adjust to their children’s personalities. Accepting a child for who they are helps them to feel secure and okay with their personality and identity.
2) Invest in TIME with your children – Kids NEED both high-quality and high quantity time. Starting with little but regular moments talking about your children’s day, having conversations, reading and telling stories, you’ll be able to develop trust and understanding, required in any relationship with quality. (You can read one of the testimonials written by the students about family, in particular one written by Ana, 13 years old, in our testimonials section.
3) Deliberately TOUCH your kids every day – This can be from huges to goodnight kisses, but gently and lovingly – not functionally – in order for children to feel safe in their relationship with you. Nevertheless, this may also change as they become adolescents, so don’t take it personally; there will just be other opportunities.
4) TEACH your children important values and life lessons – this includes learning how to handle negative emotions by not ignoring them. You will need to set limits on how your children behave when they are upset and teach how to manage their feelings, a secure base from which children can deal with negative emotions. Keep in mind that the best way we can teach our children is by practicing what we preach. Remember, they are constantly watching and learning.
5) Demonstrate TENACITY to your children – this is when we stick to something and remain persistent in the face of stress. Tenacity helps create a resilient family structure with realistic boundaries. When families maintain commitments to setting healthy boundaries and fostering open communication, this can help create a healthy and stable environment.
Nevertheless, there are also cases in which family relationships are not at their best, but were okay at some point. We would then try to re-connect, but the first aspect to take into account is that adults need to be patient and conscious of their own personal situation.
Below are FIVE PRINCIPLES you can use for re-connection.
1) Foster UNIQUENESS. In every family there are individuals who are much different than the others. We need to keep this in mind when we raise and develop healthy relationships with our kids.
2) Be careful with RIGIDNESS in enforcing household rules; but at the same time, be clear with your expectations and the consequences of breaking those rules.
3) Families need RITUALS that foster togetherness. Embrace the benefits of families eating together, having meetings where each member can have a say, and outings where a son or a daughter has alone time with a parent where you laugh and learn more about one another.
4) Helping them develop their LEGACY. In helping them develop as a person, it is important to educate children on the highs and lows of our relationships. Showing vulnerability will help your child to open up and communicate in sincere ways.
5) Model appropriate use of WORDS to communicate with the children. You can lose reconnection by using inappropriate language during difficult moments such as “You always….” or “You never….” that can destroy the confidence you had reached. It is important for them hearing words like “I love you”.
Although these guidelines may seem simple, when it comes to reconnecting with your children, they are very powerful. It is important that COMPASSION, COMMUNICATION and COMMITMENT are consistent to maintain a healthy and stable family relationship.