“Play can be the long-sought bridge back to that deep emotional bond between parent and child. Play, with all its exuberance and delighted togetherness, can ease the stress of parenting. Play is a way to enter a child’s world, on the child’s terms, in order to foster closeness, confidence, and connection.” – Lawrence Cohen
Filling your child’s ‘connection cup’ helps to create the emotional safety needed to express (release) the emotions they may have bubbling under the surface.
When children are not feeling emotionally safe, they will hold their feelings in. These feelings will bubble away under the surface and might show up as agitation, frustration, anger, aggression, biting, clingyness etc.
Let me let you in on perhaps the most simple yet effective parenting tool I’ve found so far that will help to magically melt away ALL of this!
This tool let’s you be totally present with your child, meaning they will be happier and show less challenging behaviours so that you will actually have MORE time for yourself! Yay!
What is it?
1:1 connection time. Sounds simple right?
Why is this simple technique so effective?
1. It creates a deeper connection in our relationship
2. It meets our children’s need for choice
3. It gives our children a sense of power
4. It helps them heal from the times they haven’t had these things (connection, choice, power)
Sometimes, whole days can go past and even though I’ve been with my kids all day, I don’t feel like I’ve REALLY connected with them.
For our sensitive kids the days are big. Especially those days that they go to school, daycare or somewhere else.
You act as their anchor.
Re-establishing connection to you at the end of the day, helps your child to feel emotionally safe and secure. And that connection paves the way for them to feel safe enough to express any pent up emotions from the day with you in the form of laughter, tears or talking.
What I’ve found with the amount of time to offer is that quality beats quantity. 15 really present and engaged minutes are better than half an hour of being distracted and connecting half-heartedly.
So put away any distractions (such as your phone), set a timer and invite your child to choose how they’d like to spend 15 minutes with you.
I guarantee that by doing this you will not only strengthen your connection with your child, you’ll also
:: connect to your own joy centre
:: lift your energy
AND probably want to continue playing and connecting for longer!
The days that I make time for connection (even if it’s only 15 minutes!) I find there are sooo many benefits for my family.
:: more cooperation
:: more calm
:: improved family interactions/ dynamics
:: smoother bedtime
:: better quality sleep (less waking in the night)
Those have got to be some good incentives to give it a try, right?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, join the conversation here.
B. Ed Early Childhood
Certified Lightworker Practitioner
PS We go further into cultivating your own meaningful connection times with your children and expression through tears, talking and laughter in my online Mothers Circle (enrolments opening September!)