Connection. It’s what we are all here for.
- A baby would die without physical touch
- A child needs a blankie or a teddy to comfort them when you are not there
- A child who is bullied or excluded feels the pain of not belonging
- Old people can die of loneliness or a broken heart
That’s L.O.V.E. folks!
Love is a doing word.
Love is easy to say but how do you show your child that you love them?
Loneliness and lack of social interaction are a risk factor to an early death and are harmful to our health. Being alone isn’t always lonely. I enjoy my own company. I can be in a room full of people or in the wrong relationship and feel lonely.
Why are children lacking emotional connection?
If humans are hard-wired to connect, why am I coaching so many children who can’t reach out?
It’s hard for them to be true to themselves, to be honest about their feelings and feel vulnerable enough to let them show. I see a lot of anger and underneath lies softer feelings. Feelings which they do not feel safe enough to express or share.
Nothing to be afraid or ashamed of
Last week at The Energy Pod, families also identified that they felt shame around their anger too – as if it was bad.
>>You can get a replay of this class here.
All feelings are ‘normal’ (unless you are a robot or the tinman). When our connection is not strong enough and we keep our feelings locked up inside, this is painful. It can lead to long-term mental health issues. We need to know all our feelings will be accepted and heard by somebody we love and trust. Without judgement, blame, punishment or feeling wrong for being human.
Does social media play a part in that?
Virtual relationships are a poor substitute for real human time + attention
Children are growing up with their lives being filmed and photographed for all to see. They feel judged. They feel like they have to be a certain way to be acceptable and yet to be human is to be imperfect. Growing up without being able to be human – be angry, be wrong, be sad, be afraid or worried.
Are we overscheduled + not prioritising what matters?
I wonder if we overcompensate for our lack of time by giving our child more stuff – more treats, more toys, more gadgets? That keeps them busy too, but all the time we’re too busy, that’s a barrier to connection. The pressure parents feel to be all things to all people means that connection falls to the bottom of the list.
When you’re focusing on what other people think, want or expect from you, you’re unknowingly putting that above your relationship with you child. You’re saying: ‘I’m too busy for you!’
Why is connection not on your parenting to do list?
Saying ‘I love you’ is NOT the same as meaning it. You have to show it. Connection is the most important to do. When I was growing up, I felt at times, I didn’t even belong in my own family. Being different was somehow wrong. Without having that connection with people who understand you or see you for who you are is crushing and lonely. Everybody deserves that kind of love.
Connection is THE parenting power tool
When you have connection with your child, they are more co-operative, more open to listening and learning.
A child who doesn’t feel connected to you will be disrespectful, defiant, attention seeking and it doesn’t matter if that attention is negative or positive. A child who feels controlled or unheard by you will be angry.
Connection is the invisible glue bringing you together
It looks different for different people. Look at Ant and Dec. Why do people love them so much? What is it that intrigues people about them? It’s their friendship. They have a connection which enables them to be in sync with their body language, their words and they share a great sense of humour.
Connection or attachment?
Connection is also known as attachment and, according to Dr Laura Markham you raise a securely attached child by allowing all emotions. You soothe when they’re upset. You make sure they feel safe. You see and accept who they are.
Carl Rogers calls this unconditional positive regard.
Dan Siegel calls it the 4 S’s: Safe, Secure, Seen and Soothed.
“Is “Attachment Parenting” a science? Yes. Decades of research, including longitudinal studies, shows that as securely attached babies get older, they form better relationships with others, have higher self esteem, are more flexible and resilient under stress, and perform better in every aspect of life, from schoolwork to peer interactions. But what is a Securely Attached baby? A baby who trusts that his parent will respond to his needs in a nurturing manner.”
You can’t heal what you don’t feel!
Ready to dial up the connection?
‘Rediscover the Magic of Parenting in a Busy World’ is a simple eCourse done over 30 days in bite-sized chunks, so you can create new habits around emotionally connecting with your child on a level that ensures they are seen and heard for whom they are (and not who you need them to be in the moment).
You child is more likely to be secure if you are
Imagine being able to leave a different legacy!
History often repeats itself. It’s unconscious and unless you address it, it will stay that way. Nobody had a perfect childhood and it’s not about blame. It’s more about understanding where you came from, what happened to you and your attachment style. With some exploration, understanding from a trained professional, you can bring up your hurty bits to be healed.
Priorities: Let’s put connection first!
Daily life breaks connection – screens, busy schedules, work, anger, punishment. So taking preventative maintenance means you’ll be ensuring your child feels safe, secure, seen and soothed.
It’s not just about attacking the problem when it is there or letting it escalate to boiling point; besides that’s MESSY. It takes longer to unravel, costs money and is pretty pointless, when it’s avoidable.