How to connect with your child.
In this time where we are stuck in a situation where we must be quarantined and stay home, we are given the great opportunity of time to spend with our children and family. Our relationships with our children really come into focus when we are spending all our time together. Why is connection so important to our relationship with our children. Well sometimes we really don’t know how to connect with our child, or we really don’t know what that connection is or if we even have a connection with them. So here are some ways to check on what our connection with our child looks like and some tips on how to strengthen them.
Emotion- How does your child express emotion? Being aware of how your child expresses emotion is a great tool of how to build a connection. Understanding what an emotional teenager is going through is a very daunting task. The goal is not to find the answer to what craziness is going on in their heads but being a listening ear and help them manage these emotions. Yes, I know this is very hard to do but here are some more tips to help you out.
Listen- In developing a connection make sure you are listening to your child. There is a difference between hearing your child and listening. Hearing is the act of perceiving sound and listening is the act of hearing a sound and understanding what you hear. Listening helps us as parents build a connection with our child that lets them know their voice matters. Listening builds trust between us and our children and they find value in being able to be safe using their voice.
Touch- Touch plays a big role in the attachment part of a relationship. Touch is a sign of trust, safety and love. We all have different degrees of touch and that must be respected but we also must be aware of differences or shifts in the behavior of our children. Giving a hug is a good way to ensure safety and comfort. Give your child a random loving hug and making sure you are the last one to let go, is a great way to initiate a conversation and create connection.
Hygiene- Hygiene tells us how our child is taking care of themselves. Hygiene is usually a sign of our Childs self-worth. When kids struggle caring for themselves, they usually find it hard to take care of the little things. Like taking showers, brushing their hair, washing clothes. Being aware of Hygiene gives us an opportunity to check in and understand what’s going on with our child. Hygiene is one of the signs that our child is struggling with emotion and dealing with depression. Helping our children with self-care is a great way to build a relationship. (ex: take them shopping, exercise together, get your nails done, etc.)
Self-Care- Overall connection is being aware. Being aware of our Childs Hygiene, expressions, and behaviors. Most of all being aware of ourselves. Checking in with ourselves making sure we are not stressed before we engage in connecting with our child. Making sure that we are taking care of ourselves too will play a big part of creating a safe place for our children to communicate and trust that we are safe and can provide comfort.