Yippeee! I just finished writing my chapter for the forthcoming ebook anthologized by Academy for Coaching Parents International. It took way longer than I had expected and I hope this writing thing gets easier and quicker as I do more and more of it. I’d like to share an excerpt with you and would love to hear your thoughts. What is the foundation for your relationship with your child(ren)?
Nurturing Connecting Through Setting Your Intentions excerpt:
When it comes to building a strong connection, there are no shortcuts. Connection is the foundation of your relationship. It requires awareness, intention, practice, and commitment—and all of this rests with you. Connection doesn’t require your child to behave a certain way and it doesn’t require you to be a perfect parent. It does, however, require you to be aware of how you habitually react to your child’s behavior and to have an understanding of how to effectively respond.
When you’re experiencing turbulence in your relationship or you’re feeling disconnected, notice what’s going on inside of you:
- Are you trying to understand what is going on for your child?
- Are you offering compassion?
- Is your motive to correct, coerce, or punish?
Understanding and compassion lead to connection. Correction, coercion and punishment can lead to disconnection and discord. Through coercive tactics you may be able to temporarily modify behavior, but in the long run, coercion erodes the parent-child bond and teaches your child to behave a certain way out of fear, guilt or shame. Understanding and compassion, on the other hand, nurtures the parent-child bond and your child’s natural willingness to cooperate and contribute.
So how do you nurture connection with your child during tense moments? The most important thing you can do is to pause and focus on your intention before you speak or react.
When you pause, take the opportunity to remember how it feels when you are in close relationship with those you love. For example, consider the kind of connection you feel when a friend really listens to you, not just gives you a nod of the head, but listens deeply, asking questions to be sure she understands what you’re saying. It’s that warm feeling you get when your partner genuinely wants your input in a decision that will affect you both. It’s the tenderness you feel when you’ve made a regrettable mistake and instead of saying, “I told you so,” your friend empathizes with how embarrassed you feel.
When real connection occurs, deep needs are being met. Whether it is the need to be heard, the need to be considered or the need for empathy and understanding, connection meets needs. And acting and speaking with the intention of meeting needs is how you nurture connection and nourish relationship. When you focus on your intention to connect, you are seeing the big picture of your relationship.
Connection doesn’t happen overnight and isn’t even always present from the moment of birth. Connection builds over time as trust is established and openness is embraced. Once the foundation of your relationship has been laid and you’ve established a quality connection with your child, the ups and downs of daily living become more manageable and less stressful. When this happens, teaching and modeling the behavior you desire is better received by your child.
Watch for the ebook coming soon to my blogsite!