When The Going Gets Rough – Drop Everything And CONNECT

 

Being a parent is a tough job, which requires us to wear many hats and be pulled in multiple directions all at the same time.  The hustle and bustle of everyday life as a parent can sometimes simply be too much. The routines, schedules, mad dashes from one activity to the next, packing lunches, prepping meals, homework battles and the list goes on. When the daily grind gets to us we sometimes stop making time for the things that matter most – CONNECTING WITH OUR KIDS!

 

Connections are made throughout the day, but making truly impactful connections help us relate, bond, and strengthen our parent-child relationship.  One thing that we sometimes forget as parents is that our perspective will never fully align with the perspective of our kids. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but rather something we just need to keep in mind. When certain behaviours occur and the tantrums and power struggles break out in full force,  we need to stop and think about our child’s perspective. Sure it won’t be the same as ours, but in order to understand and help solve the issue at hand, we need to first see the issue from their eyes. We need to stand in their shoes and first try to understand what they are feeling and secondly we must CONNECT.

 

What do I mean when I say connect? I’m sure you’re feeling like you are ‘connected’ all day with your kids. You are preparing their meals, cleaning up, organizing their activities, chauffeuring them around and basically letting their lives run yours. The trouble here is this idea around having two separate perspectives. In your eyes you are connected and involved, but in their eyes you are not. From a child’s perspective you connect with them when you take time out of your day and make special time just for them. I know what you’re saying right now and I can see your eyes rolling as you struggle with this thought. I can guess you are either thinking to yourself that you already spend lots of time together OR you are wondering how in the heck you are going to make more time magically appear in the day so that you can input this extra activity.

 

I will answer these questions for you and help you see the importance of making this time to connect part of your daily schedule.  Many times during the day we tell our kids:

 

“Just a minute, I need to make dinner.”

“ I will be with you when I finish folding the laundry.”

“I have one more work call and then we can play.”

 

When we make statements such as these – from the perspective of our kids we are telling them they are second to everything else that needs to be done. Of course this is life and there are times in our day where our kids have to be second and wait. I am not suggesting that they run the roost and we drop everything for them at every whim. What I am saying is that 1-2 times per day we STOP, INITIATE SPECIAL TIME, and CONNECT. I label this special time GOLDEN TIME.  Golden Time can be a simple as reading a book or going for a walk together one- on- one.  For further details please read this article titled: First Connect – Then Direct and/or email me directly.  tia@slightham.com

 

When we start making Golden Time a priority we truly make connections with our kids. When we make these connections we help our kids build their self-confidence and self-worth.  Our actions tell them that we care and that they are our number one priority. Once this pattern develops and your kids begin to feel re-connected with you, they won’t nag and bother you when you need to do the daily duties. They will begin to see your perspective as you took the time to see theirs. Cooperation increases and battles/tantrums decrease. You now have the opportunity to enjoy parenting and the daily grind feels less gritty.

 

Let me give you an example of a family I worked with whose eldest son age 7 had a bit of anxiety and was having some trouble at school. He was battling his parents with everything from homework and daily routines and was spending his days upset and angry. I understand how frustrating this can be for a parent. We want our kids to be happy and cooperative and when they are being rude and disrespectful we tend to lash back ourselves.   Unfortunately, when we lash out they often are in non-productive ways such as yelling, screaming or giving consequences that are unrelated to the issue at hand. This cycle leads our kids to be more angry at us and feel even less heard. I coached the family on Golden Time and once the family initiated 5-10 minutes of Golden Time each morning and before bed they were shocked by the shift in attitude and behavior. The beauty of this parenting tool is it not only makes our kids feel better but it also makes us feel better. We stop and connect and get everything back into perspective. Their son started to look forward to daily golden time and was extremely cooperative throughout the day. Of course I offered many other parenting tools and the parents were very committed to the process. But, when you take the time and implement tools where fixing is needed – everything can improve and get better!

 

Working with parents one-on-one or in groups I typically get the same response when I suggest they start Golden Time. They think it sounds hokey and they don’t know how to squeeze it in. Once we get past the hokey vibe and chat about how to make it work they all call me with the same response. They can’t believe in 1 week the difference in their kids. They are shocked that something as simple as Golden Time has made such a huge impact. I am telling you now and always THAT WHEN THE GOING GETS ROUGH – STOP EVERYTHING AND CONNECT!!

 

To work with me independently please email me at tia@slightham.com

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