Building a lasting emotional connection – Miami Parenting Tip of the Week
Emotional connection is essential to building a long lasting open and loving relationship with your child. Telling them you love them is not enough, actually focusing on their surroundings, positive reinforcement, and seeing things from the our child’s point of view helps create that emotional bond between a parent and a child. Try to make sure make sure your displays of affection for your child outnumber any consequences or punishments. Hugs, kisses and good-natured roughhousing reassure your child of your love. Frequent praise and attention also can motivate your toddler to follow the rules vs. not.
So how can parents work at being fully present with their children?
Remember all relationships take work! Just as your marriage, your relationship with your boss, your garden to grow and blossom….Luckily, children automatically love their parents. As long as we don’t blow that, we can keep the connection strong.
Prioritize time with your child. In relationships, without quantity, there’s no quality. You can’t expect a good relationship with your child if you barely spend any quality time with him/her. So as hard as it is with the pressures of job and daily life, if we want a better relationship with our kids, we have to free up the time to make that happen.
Foundation of trust in any relationship. Trust means not giving up on your child, no matter what he or she does. Trust means never walking away from the relationship in frustration, because you trust that your child needs you and that you will find a way to work things out. Trust begins in infancy, when your baby learns whether she can depend on you to pick her up when she needs you. By the time babies are a year old, researchers can assess whether babies are “securely attached” to their parents, which basically means the baby trusts that his parents can be depended on to meet his emotional and physical needs.
Encourage! Encourage! Encourage! Kids form their view of themselves and the world every day. They need your encouragement to see themselves in a positive manner and capable of accomplishing things, part of this is you, the parent, being by their side and them knowing it. If most of what comes out of your mouth is correction or criticism, they won’t feel good about themselves, and they won’t feel like you are on their side. You lose your only leverage with them, and they lose something every kid needs: to know they have an adult who thinks the world of them.
Respect is a learned behavior and is mutual. Pretty obvious, right? We tend to forget this with our children though, because we know we’re supposed to be the boss. You can still set limits (and you must), but if you do it respectfully and with empathy, your child will learn both to treat others with respect and to expect to be treated respectfully himself.
Resist the temptation to be punitive. How would you feel about your mother or father is the person who hurts, threatens, or humiliates you, “for your own good”? Kids do need our guidance, but punishing your child always erodes your relationship, which makes your child misbehave more.
Accept your child for who they are. As your child grows, he or she will display certain personality traits. Some of these are learned, others genetic. Respect your child’s developing individuality and don’t expect him or her to be just like you. Nurture your child’s personality by finding ways to help him or her feel confident. A strong-willed child, for instance, has perseverance. Build on your child’s strength by encouraging him or her to play with a challenging toy.
Being a parent is a never-ending learning process, a beautiful and at times difficult process at most, but a lovely one at the end <3 Children learn how to act by watching their parents. The best way to show your child how to behave is to set a positive example for him or her to follow.
References: http:// www.ahaparenting.com ; http://www.mayoclinic.org