Monday, May 08, 2023
Building a strong connection with your child and partner is essential to maintaining healthy and fulfilling relationships. However, in today's busy world, it can be easy to let this aspect of our lives slip. Here are some tips on how to build a stronger connection with your child and partner:
1. Spend quality time together: It's important to set aside time to spend with your child and partner. This can be as simple as having dinner together every night or taking a walk together on the weekends. The key is to make sure that you're fully presentduring this time, without distractions such as phones or TV. If you have trouble being present, do you recognize why? What is it that is too difficult for you to pay attention to in the moment? Why is your mind wanting to wander instead of being here, now, with your person?
2. Communicate effectively: Communication is key to building a strong connection. Make sure to actively listen to your child and partner and express your own thoughts and feelings in a clear and respectful manner. No blaming or shaming - these are connection killers! Be willing to compromise and find solutions to problems together. Actively engage in this part of the relationship ... you are not a spectator here, you are a participant.
3. Show appreciation: I've been hearing a lot about appreciation lately ... Let your child and partner know that you appreciate them! Say thank you for the little things they do and let them know how much they mean to you. This can be as simple as leaving a note or sending a text message. If you notice you're not showing appreciation, wonder why ... be curious about your resistance to saying "thank you" when you want to or really feel like you could. You will probably find some juicy pieces of information about why there's some disconnection in your relationship.
4. Have fun together: Don't forget to have fun with your child and partner! Plan activities that you both enjoy and make time for hobbies and interests that you share. Laugh together and create happy memories. We forget that the same part of our brain that regulates fear also regulates joy. If we are not experiencing a lot of joy, we have to wonder why. Are we stuck in destructive patterns? Are we preventing ourselves or others from experiencing joy as some sort of punishment? Do we deserve joy? Do they?
5. Practice empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. You don't have to agree with why or when they are having a feeling ... you only need to be able to recognize the feeling in them and remember what that feeling actually feels like in yourself. Once you are understanding how they are feeling, try to put yourself in your child and partner's shoes and see things from their perspective. This will help you to connect with them on a deeper level and build trust and understanding.
6. Practice self-care: Taking care of yourself is essential to being able to connect with others. Self-care is self-compassion. How often are you practicing compassion with yourself instead of beating yourself up for all the "bad" and "wrong" things you have done? Make sure to take time for yourself to recharge and pursue your own interests. Literally, what do you like to do? When do you actually feel "happy?" When are the times you feel like a full and whole person? Taking time for yourself will help you to be a happier and more present partner and parent.
Building a strong connection with your child and partner takes time and effort, but the rewards are immeasurable. By prioritizing your relationships and putting in the work, you can create deeper, more meaningful connections that will last a lifetime.
Presence in Parenting®
I want this parenting blog to be a valuable resource for parents seeking information and support. It should provide a platform for parents to connect with others and share their experiences, while also providing access to expert advice and resources on a wide range of parenting topics. If you have any ideas for future topics that you have questions about, let me know!
In no way are any of these articles to be considered clinical advice or part of therapy. If you are looking for those services, please contact me for a referral.
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