Other times children will use the power of your attention to try and tackle something they find difficult like doing back flips on the trampoline or writing their name.
It feels good. Hand in Hand Instructor, Leigh Jamison , a mum in Sweden has a gorgeous story about how important Special Time is, no matter how humdrum it may seem from the outside:. The boys, 5 and 7, had never been there and had been looking forward to the visit for many months. The boys looked at each other with startled eyes when I said this and asked to discuss it by themselves in another room. And they get Special Time every day so it would have meant missing just one of days in the year! It feels hard to actually do it. On the face of it Special Time is such a simple thing yet it can be surprisingly hard for parents to do.
The lack of support we have as parents means it can be difficult to find the energy to do Special Time. You might also find yourself getting distracted and wanting to tidy up, quickly looking at your phone, or daydreaming about something else.
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Finding someone to listen to you whilst you explore the resistance you have can be very helpful. You need to be clever introducing it to teenagers and some tweens. A child brings up past difficulties. One of the things that makes Special Time so beneficial to the mental health of a child is that it gives them a place where unresolved feelings can resurface. For example they may become clingier to you. This is actually progress: they trust you to be there for them, so they want to work through buried difficulties.
A child shows you some old hurts. As you begin to have Special Time, your child will start to feel safe enough to show you their upsets. They are using the safety of your attention to offload some old hurts and just need you to be with them as their emotional storm passes. It transforms our relationship with our child. For details showing how you can make Special Time a regular part of your relationship with your child, view our free video series.
From conversations with Melbourne therapist Joane Goulding in and Our mission is to provide parents with insights, skills, and support they need to listen to and connect with their children in a way that allows each child to thrive. We do this through easy-to-access support , classes , and literature.
We offer vital information to help parents deal with issues from children biting and kids' temper tantrums to learning issues and bullying on playgrounds and in schools. You can learn more about us on GuideStar. Issues Approach Results Research. Sign Up for Our Parent Newsletter. Overview the hand in hand approach, parenting by connection, helps families build a stronger parent-child connection. Recommended Reading Some of our favorite titles that you might also enjoy. One on Ones One on One Consultations.
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Why I still carry my kids…
Join our Newsletter Sign Up Here. Participate Participate in free Parenting by Connection calls. An important factor to avoid burnout while they learn to be compassionate is to understand the difference between empathy and compassion. When we witness suffering and distress in others, our natural tendency to empathize can bring us vicarious pain.
Is there a better way of approaching distress in other people? Compassion allows you to care for the wellbeing of others without forsaking your own mental well being in the process, which is critical to avoid desensitization. We have a veritable pet cemetery in our backyard, and genuine tears were shed at the service performed over each shoebox.
This article from Parents talks about the other benefits of pets beyond growing soft hearts. This is really dangerous territory, I think. This is an eye-opening topic for many of us, because coming to grips with how we talk and behave can be devastating. You were just plain mean. Do a debriefing on what compassion looks like in your family. What could you do better?
And what would you like to change? What do you think compassion looks like? Feels like? Where do you need support?
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What do you want to start doing right now? What do you want to stop doing? Make a pact to be intentional about how you model compassion for your children and what you expose them to along the way. If your family had a mission statement, what would it be? And how will your decision-making process purchases, events, etc. A united front is important, as is a spirit of forgiveness and flexibility. Compassionate people know to dust themselves off and try again.
Marianne Griebler is a marketing communications consultant who lives with her family in Chicago. She's learned more about life from her three daughters than from any job or university, and there's no way she can ever repay them. She's also a certified volunteer arborist, an avid theater goer and a literacy volunteer. Please visit her website at mariannegriebler. I too have learned more from my children—those who walk on two legs and four—than anything else. I love the mindfulness parenting has gifted me.
Your post reminds me of one I did for the Huffington Post. I thought you might enjoy it, as we shared a similar experience. Thanks for reading! Love this article. My solution was to lavish the love. It took every ounce of effort, but I gave her tons of attention and love. We read books and played and had fun together. It tided us over until I got my own copy. I highly recommend that book, Kaila. Ah, the joys of parenthood :. Those memories of when I came through for my daughters have given me a lot of positive energy in the years since. Because our children will always test us in some exciting new way, as Sumitha pointed out!
Sumitha- I love the feeling series, we use it at my program all the time. Marianne- Thanks for your kind words.
A great reminder that this too, shall pass! They were in a habit of laughing or gloating when something bad happened to the other, etc. And it did.
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I find most often when kids are being mean they are insecure about boundaries and are testing limits. I suspect it has quite a lot to do with the kids innate personalities… My daughter has this friend who is a really sweet little boy and watching the two of them play is very interesting. Strong willed kids are tricky! I was one. People ask us often how it is that my kids get along so well, and I credit it with the luck of having had Aden first.
You can only do the best you can and be loving and trustworthy, but then people are who they are and you have to roll with it.
I like that this post essentially says default to love and things will get better. Korinthia, I was struck by your expression: Default to love. That sounds like a philosophy for life to me! Simple mantras like these are so powerful to transform the concepts from mere knowledge to a switch that can snap me out of the moment!!! On a slightly different note — have you considered a career in copy writing?
You have a way with words and could make some ad agency really rich :. I choked up several times while reading that article! Irrespective of what the future research turns up — it has offered me a lot of hope and renewed sense of purpose. Sumitha, your daughter did hit the evolutionary jackpot: she got you as a mom. They are comfortable in their own skin; they stand up for others because they know what it feels like to be an outsider; they almost seem to have a special calling to make this a better world.