Tips and Strategies for Parents: Connect with your child

Tips and Strategies for Parents

A selection of useful tips for parents and caretakers.

Connect with your child

What you do for yourself you can also do for your children. Be there for them. Pick a time during the week to really connect with them. Don't think that teens don't need it... they do. Your children don't have to know what time you pick, because that can put pressure on them. However it can also be a commitment you'll have towards each other. When we connect to our children they connect with us.

The Moment

Plan a game evening/afternoon, movie night or just a special dinner without any distractions like TV, computer, mobile phones. Teens are not always talkers, but when they do you should make time for them. Drop everything and listen. Don't continue cooking, watching TV, mowing the lawns, etc... That moment is THE MOMENT. They need to know that you are there for them without any restrictions and will listen to them. Don't judge, ask questions. These questions will help teens to connect with themselves and really understand what goes on in their mind and body. If they make a decision based on their feelings and ideas it will be easier for them to cope with issues that might pop up. They can't blame you and will have learned a wise lesson, just like you did when you were their age.

Give them confidence and check on them afterwards. Put consequences in place if they "misbehave" and make that clear before they make their decision without giving them the feeling they need to do what you've asked. Be open for different ideas as well as weird ideas, as long as they are safe and can't harm themselves, let them experience to learn life's lessons. If you open yourself up, you might be surprised with what they come up with. They have great ideas but are also capable to "punish" themselves. Sometimes that can even be too harsh.

Show them affection

Make that commitment to your children, no matter what comes to mind. Work is important but not as important as your child. Yes we need to earn money and take care of our families, but taking care can be expressed in different ways. Show them affection, give a cuddle/ hug or kiss. Find that little thing which makes them feel special, because your children are special. Don't "wake up" after 30 odd years and think where did the time go... what have I missed etc... It doesn't mean that you have to do the things you really don't like. Make a compromise, take turns in who chooses what to do and stick to it. Put on your happy face and enjoy their guidance.

Connect with your heart

I personally think that we need to connect with our hearts. Send out that loving energy which will reach other people no matter what. You and your children will feel the connection and they will feel safe, loved and cherished. Making time for each other does not always happen during week days. It can easily be saved for the weekends or evenings. We don't have much free time but make an effort and you will see the results.

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