10 Things to Cultivate a Deeper Bond with Your Kids

bonding connection harmony Nov 07, 2019

CREATING MORE HARMONY IN YOUR HOME

1. Take care of yourself because nobody else will. Honestly, find something kind to do for yourself each day. Even a shower, a walk or a cup of tea. 

2. Use empathy, even when you think you can’t...it’s you're saving grace. If we can see things from our child’s point of view, even when you may not agree or feel that they “need” to be upset…they are having feelings and all feelings are valid and important. Conveying the idea that we understand will garner much goodwill with our children. 

3. Be affectionate and kind. Come with love, kindness, hugs, and kisses as much as possible because our children are little sponges and they may not reflect that kindness right away while they are disconnected but over time they will learn to be kind humans. 

4. Play with your kids, every day if you can. It’s transformative. Sometimes it’s unmanageable to play...

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Sibling Rivalry

The fighting between my girls is what brought me to my knees as a parent. The pinching, pushing and hitting left me feeling devastated. Some days the sweetness between them was the most beautiful thing I had ever witnessed, and on other days, I would go to bed crying. It took me quite some time to understand that the relationship between my girls was interdependent on the closeness I shared with each of my children individually; and as I came to understand this important nuance of familial relations, it made perfect sense. Looking at the (for many years) fractured relationship I shared with my sister, it was clear our lack of connection with our parents greatly influenced the way we interacted with one another. There was never enough attention to go around so the strain on the parental relationship gave way to increased conflict between my sister and me. I couldn’t verbalize it as a child or adolescent, but it seems so clear to me now. What was more devastating was the way in...

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A World Without Punishments

What if we lived in a world where there were no punishments? What if instead we were greeted with love and tenderness when we did the wrong thing? What would a world built on this premise look like?

When I first contemplated eliminating consequences and bribes with my own kids, it scared me. How could I possibly get my kids to brush their teeth every night if I didn’t promise them a TV show afterward? There was no way they would do it, and if they did, it was going to be a knockdown drag-out fight. I just rather not! I thought it sounded lovely to have my kids just do as I asked all the time without bribery or threatening and consequences; but at the time, it was all I knew, and it worked.

However, when I started to research rewards and other extrinsic motivators the evidence was clear. Once the motivator was taken off the table, the child not only failed to reproduce the behavior, but they also found no value in doing the right thing. So what was I teaching my kids? I guess I...

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How Regulating Our Feelings Can Help Us Become a Connected Parent

Don’t take it personally! Really? I just read that the other day, don’t take your child’s anger and “off-track” behavior personally. WHAT? You mean to tell me when my 10-year-old rolls her eyes in the back of her head and says that I don’t know what I am talking about demanding that I leave her room I am not supposed to take it personally? Really?! She is so disrespectful and obviously has NO manners; I don’t even know where she came from.

Science tells us when our kids are “off track” they are no longer relying on the use of their prefrontal cortex (the reasoning center of the brain). They are fully depending on the limbic system (the emotional center of the brain). That means they literally can’t think. Dr. Dan Siegel talks a lot about this in all of his books and he describes it as “flipping your lid.” So instead of getting angry, reprimanding the behavior, lecturing and rupturing the already compromised...

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Teaching My Extended Family How to Implement Special Time

(Reposted Article from HandinHandParenting.org 3/2015)

As winter break approached this year I found myself worried about the interactions my kids would have with the plethora of adults who would be coming in for the holidays. In an effort to keep things kid-focused and give my children the kind of individualized time they had grown so accustomed to since we began Parenting by Connection I enlisted the help of my family.

Many weeks prior to our 12-person family invasion I emailed the group describing to them our successes with Parenting by Connection, especially with regard to Special Time. In my email, I asked our family members to try and spend at least 20 individualized minutes with each of my kids over the three days they were all in town.

The weeks leading to the visit I spent a good amount of time with my various Listening Partners exploring all of my fears around holidays. Including all of my less than perfect experiences as a kid. This helped me clear my feelings, to some...

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5 Ways to Stop Screaming at Your Kids

1.      Take a deep breath.  Scientific studies show that taking deep breathes can lessen the production of stress hormones. So when you are feeling triggered by your “off track” child close your eyes and take three deep breaths.

2.   Instead of thinking of our child as the “enemy” view their unsavory behavior as a cry for help. They are signaling to us that they need us the most.

3.      Come with kindness. When we come with calm, loving kindness instead of harsh words of criticism, our children respond to us much better. Calm begets calm.           

4.      Model the behavior you desire. Our kids are watching our every move. Research tells us modeling makes up 80% of what children learn. So if you wonder why your kids are yelling constantly, it’s time to take a look in the mirror.

5.     ...

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