Today, this boomer was interviewed on a podcast hosted by a millennial; we had a blast. We discussed what connecting really means and how to use it differently to create a resilient child. The conversation was so rich that I wanted to share it with all of you. I’ll let you know when it goes live, too.
Professor Google says, Resilient means…”How quickly and easily a child rebounds from stress or adversity and can return to their usual level of well-being.”
The podcaster and I started discussing how to create that skill for kids.
I began with, “Resilience is not something you are born with; it’s something that’s created.”
Let me clarify.
Each of us has inborn traits.
Some of us are born with the ability to respond to stressful experiences calmly, and some of us, not so much. That begs the question, can resilience be taught? As it turns out, it can.
But first, we have to address the problem.
Parents have a misunderstanding about what connecting really means. Most believe connecting means skipping the issue to go off and have fun, play a game, or give hugs and kisses. That’s one way to connect and show love, but it does nothing to teach your child about their behavior.
I’d like to suggest another way, perhaps a more mindfully direct way to use connecting when correcting behavior.
When it comes to correcting behavior Connecting can happen in one of three ways.
We all naturally head toward the fun stuff so we can gain a connected same-page mindset. But unfortunately, that teaches your child that it’s better to swallow feelings and go have fun, instead of doing the work to explore what you’re feeling. And we all know the many problems that decision could create.
#2: Connecting through anger.
Kids withdraw when you yell so they can protect themselves from the intensity of your anger. Unfortunately, that unconscious habit makes it difficult to listen when yelling occurs. So, kids use their immature thinking and decide that anger must be how adults handle emotional things, so I will use anger too. I don’t think you wanted to teach your kids that one.
#3: Silent-ish connecting while holding the line in the sand.
Kids need two things when emotional. First, they need consistency so they learn to trust the process. They also need to feel safe so they can risk changing behavior.
Use as few words as possible. When you’re correcting behavior try to stay away from yelling, lecturing, shaming or blaming, and try to silently guide instead. (Please say something if your child becomes concerned that you aren’t talking, or they ask, “Mom, why aren’t you saying anything.” This is about making them feel safe, not anxious.)
Your child’s brain hasn’t mastered executive functioning yet, so they need you to be proactive, to guide and remind them of the steps needed to remain on task.
This works because you used to yell to correct them for not doing as they were told, but now you’re age appropriately guiding them thru the step by step process needed to fulfill your expectations.
Connecting can be empathetic and supportive and enforce the line in the sand all at the same time. Just thought this might be helpful. All the methods needed to support you as you correct behavior are at Proactive Parenting.net.
Now, go hug your kids!