“When we are stretched thin and don’t have much to give, we can look for micro-moments to connect with our child.” -Sarah Rosensweet
My husband sent me an article from the NY Times this week and the title was, “I See Signs of Despair From Parents of Kids Under 5.”
This is what I am hearing from many of you- and not just from parents of kids under 5. Many of us have been ill or worried about getting ill, in virtual school or lockdowns or wondering when they might happen.
I was speaking to a client this morning and she was describing the challenging behavior of her 5 year old the past month.
My client reported that it was often at the beginning of the day or at dinnertime- when she and her partner were busy with the baby and/or their other child, with chores, getting ready for the day or getting a meal on the table.
The behavior she described clearly sounded like attention-seeking behaviour. He needed more connection from his parents.
He needed to know that despite the busyness and ALL.THE.THINGS- they still saw him and heard him and loved him.
We talked about how his nervous system was dysregulated by the overwhelming fear that he didn’t matter to them.
I knew that recommending my go-to ‘connection cure’ of Special Time was out of the question for this family at the moment. They would not be able to manage it with everything that was going on in their lives.
So we talked about finding micro-moments of connection.
One way to do this is to delight in your child.
Delighting in your child means, in the words of the late Toni Morrison, “Let your face speak what’s in your heart. When they walk in the room, my face says I’m glad to see them.”
Yes, we have a lot on our minds and a lot on our plates.
Yes, our child sometimes pushes all our buttons.
We can try to put aside our adult worries as best we can when we’re with our kids.
We can recognize that our child is doing the best they can.
We can delight in our child so that they know that we see them, that we hear them, and that we love them.
Take a moment to delight in your child several times a day as you are all moving through the schedule.
When you see your child first thing in the morning, when they come in the room, when they come to dinner- WHENEVER- look them in the eye and give them a smile.
You can say, “I’m glad to see you.” Or, “I love you.” Or, “I’m so lucky you’re my kid.”
Or, say nothing and just smile!
Some other ideas we talked about: finding 5 minutes to roughhouse and laugh, snuggling up with a book with both her boys if they couldn’t get time with each on their own, as many hugs as possible.
Sarah Rosensweet is a certified peaceful parenting coach, speaker, and educator. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three big kids (ages 15, 18, and 21). Peaceful parenting is a non-punitive, connection-based approach that uses firm limits with lots of empathy. Sarah works one-on-one virtually with parents all over the world to help them go from frustrated and overwhelmed to, “We’ve got this!”
Read more at: www.sarahrosensweet.com