I recently read a great article from Janet Lansbury called “Don’t Waste an Opportunity to Connect With Your Kids”.
The article discusses seven ways we can connect with children including: hearing and acknowledging the child’s emotions; providing the child with simple, truthful, empathetic limits; meet the child where he/she is at in terms of play; slow down and connect during care-giving duties such as bath time and bedtime; and express love, appreciation, and apologies to the child even if they do not seem to be listening. These things resonated with me as a child and adolescent psychologist because this is the kind of relationship I strive to foster between the parents and children I work with. A relationship that consists of mutual respect and one in which the child feels safe and understood. Relationships of mutual respect with children who have temper tantrums and do not listen by the first or even tenth time we tell them something can be very challenging, but are possible and rewarding once achieved. It’s the small changes in our daily communication with children that have the biggest impact.