When we focus on connection, we start to change our relationships for the better.  Our presence is raised with our children and our relationships improve. Our children learn that they are loved and are loveable.  That for me, is the most important bit of all – making sure my son knows he is loved and loveable.  

Your child might not want to connect, but don’t let that stop you from trying. Keep going and you’ll get there.  We all want to feel connected and for some that feeling comes more easily than others. When connection is at the forefront of our minds it changes our approach and how we see our child’s behaviour. 

When things are challenging, or our child is ‘misbehaving’ it can be very easy to go straight in with a punishment. They rarely work in the longer term and the behaviour often continues. When we connect first, we help increase our parental presence and then over time reduce the unwanted behaviour. 

Listen

Listen to what your child is asking, don’t assume you always know what they need. Sometimes they don’t ask verbally so we need to watch for the little clues. It’s not easy but it definitely helps to build connection and raise presence by showing them you are listening to them, are interested in them and care about them. 

As an example, when we get to school in the morning, I park the car and walk into school with my son. I thought he still needed me to do that, which is absolutely fine. On a recent morning I got about halfway to the building and said ‘are you OK to keep going by yourself?’. His response? ‘Yes, I didn’t need to you walk with me at all, I’m fine and can do it by myself now’. There was part of me that did a happy dance and part that was deflated he didn’t need me anymore! I had been making assumptions about what he needed, which were clearly wrong – at least on that day. Of course, on different days their needs can be different, but try and be able to listen to their varying needs and it will help everyone. 

Quality Time

Spending time together to create a strong bond is important. I’m a single working parent so I understand the time pressures, but when I don’t spend enough quality time with my son, when I’m not thinking before I respond or managing myself well I see a difference in his behaviour and our relationship. I know that putting the time into positive connections is totally worth it and I would rather have positive interactions than deal with negative ones. 

Here are some things I do: 

  • put my phone down when we get in so I can talk to him without distraction 
  • make sure I’m ready in the morning before he needs to start getting ready so I can give him my full attention 
  •  watch youtube videos with him (I don’t like them usually but he loves me watching with him) 
  • have dinner together 
  • chat in the car when we are going somewhere 

Just a few ideas for you. It would be great if you shared yours so we can all help each other and learn. 

Support

I share more tips and ideas in my free Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/connectiveparentingusingNVR/  

If you’re struggling to connect with your child, come and join us in the Connective Parenting Hub where I’ll help you to increase your connection and transform your family’s life.  

It’s my monthly membership group, where you get unlimited access to me, a library of online resources, the opportunity to hear from other experts and to be part of a supportive community of parents.  You can find all the details at www.sarahpfisher.com/connectiveparentinghub