The following are relationship-building skills that I coach families to incorporate into everyday practice. A strong parent-child connection is an important foundation upon which you can build mutual respect, agreement regarding expectations, healthy communication habits, and cooperation.
Noticing our kids
The idea of "praising" kids has nearly become taboo in recent years...to the point that many of us feel uncertain about how to appropriately provide feedback regarding our children's behavior. Rephrasing evaluations into observations is a great way to demonstrate to kids that you see them, take note of them, and recognize the impact of what they do.
Our experiences and emotions are often minimized and invalidated by others, leaving us feeling insignificant and/or misunderstood. Responding with empathy to your child demonstrates that you see her, are aware of her experiences in life, and believe that her feelings matter. Let's reinforce to our kids that they do matter.
Making connection a priority
We are best able to engage in meaningful interactions with children when we take time to stop our busyness, focus our attention, and truly listen to them. Yes, that starts with putting our devices away! Click below to sign up to receive two weeks of brief and practical tips for improving your connection with your kids.
Using values as guidelines
Values, beliefs, and expectations are often clearly defined in other contexts. Mission statements communicate a company's values and core beliefs. Personnel handbooks help determine how to manage opportunities and challenges that arise. Identify and use your family's shared values to guide your interactions and approaches to handling challenges and opportunities as they arise within your home.
solving problems Cooperatively
We often approach disciplining our kids differently than we tackle problems in other contexts of our lives. Try viewing challenges between you and your child objectively -- explore them as external problems, rather than problems within either you or your child. Understand the true cause of your challenges BEFORE trying new discipline tactics. The best solution will not work if applied to the wrong problem.