Read more about Parent Coaching: Raising Children Consciously
A tired parent struggles to keep their eyes open while they read one last story to their child.
The busy, work at home, mom feels guilty for having to say “no” to their child, because there’s no time to go to the park and then there’s the feeling of failure that strikes most parents as they climb into bed, realizing they didn’t play with their kids again that day.
We hear time and time again that children who experience connection with their parents have higher self esteem and confidence, are healthier emotionally, mentally and physically and they perform better in school.
Yet parents struggle to find the time to fit it in and then suffer with the guilt of missing out.
What if quality time was more about connection and less about time at all?
A half distracted game of cards or an un-interested “uh-huh” when listening to a child recounting their day isn’t connection.In fact, dis-interest suggests the effort given is a parental duty and not one that’s actually fun or engaging. It can’t possibly lead to high self esteem in any child or anyone for that matter.
(In fact, if a friend or fellow “grown-up” treated us in such a distracted way, we’d consider it rude.)
Scatteredness and multi-tasking can create a focus of being “too busy” and within that focus, connection gets lost.
So, what’s the solution?
There are numerous ways you can increase your connection with your child throughout the day, simply through shifting perspective of day to day living and looking for fun in the moment.
1) Involve your child in every day tasks and work on things together.
From a young child helping to load laundry into the washer, to a teenager making the dinner’s salad, doing daily tasks together (along with some fun music to keep the mood light) creates a foundation of love and support from everyone. Car rides are times when you can talk about the world around you, or simply act silly listening to the radio.
When daily tasks or simple moments are shared with our children, you’ll notice that it becomes easier to be lighter and practice them with a sense of fun, while when we work alone or are focused on the traffic ahead, we easily get lost in our train of thoughts, our worries or our daily spins of stress.
2) Ask Questions… and then listen with attention
Children have opinions, perspectives, and focuses of their own. When we start asking our children about their thoughts and ideas we not only learn more about them as people, but we encourage them to share and express themselves openly. When parents follow through with listening and engaging with their child’s answers, without any criticism or judgment, foundations for a connected relationship becomes established.
3) Log off to connect
Devices and social media are like a barrier between parents and children. The all to common image of a child at a park while the parent is on their phone “scrolling” is where the real guilt is being created. Why? Because it’s not real busyness. Social media scrolling is the epitome of true “busy time” as is giving focus to other people, strangers, and stories, without any true intention or focus. Children sense when a parent is truly “busy” and can’t be disturbed, but the fogginess of scrolling or random conversations over enjoying time together, is what really lies underneath the feeling of missing out on a parenting experience.
4) Appreciation and Gratitude
A simple step to finding connection with your children is to create a daily list of what you appreciate about them. From their laugh to their sparkling eyes, to their wonder, their helpfulness or that time they made their bed, you can always find something to appreciate. This creates space for a deeper connection, as a child will feel accepted and loved for who they are each day and a parent will feel more aware of their child’s strengths and successes.
The phrase “you can’t give water from an empty well”, has become common phrase encouraging self care, but often self care for parents is action based. From trips to Target to Spa Retreats, self connection has become the question of “What should I do when alone?” rather than “how shall I be when alone?”
When a parent takes a moment each day to focus on their breath and connect to their day, their thoughts and themselves, they become present in their own lives. Within this presences the scattered focus which bars them from connection to their children melts away.
With practicing a bit of mindful connection within, a parent soon finds that connection with their children naturally occurs, simply through daily conversation, loving engagement and presence of being together.
Read more: 940 Saturdays
Christina Fletcher is a Spiritually Aware Parent Coach and Energy Healer who specializes in helping parents become heart centered and aligned to their highest vision of their parenting and of themselves. Through her background and training in religious and self development studies, as well as spirituality and conscious parenting, Christina helps parents dive past the “shoulds” created from their upbringing and society, and release beliefs that hold them back to create authentic, connected relationships with their children, and themselves. Using mindset techniques, practical spiritual tools such as simple meditation, the law of attraction and positive focus, as well as her training and gifts as an energy healer, Christina gives space for a mom or dad to drop into the feeling of satisfaction, alignment and relief, so they can tune in to what their children truly need and work from a centered perspective. She gives practical and spiritual advice on how to tune into a child’s perspective as well as concrete tools to pass on self awareness and mindful living to children as young as 3, so authenticity, emotional awareness, communication and connection can be the foundation for the whole family. Christina is a homeschooling mom of 2 daughters, (ages 16 and 15) and a 9 year old son. She is happily married to her husband Jeff. When their girls were born 10 months apart, Christina parented as she thought she “should”. Scheduled feeds, nights of pacing the floor with crying babies, and getting mad as they got older, she knows what it’s like to feel overwhelmed and in tears through those early years. It wasn’t until her girls were 3 and 4 that she decided her happiness mattered and that she wanted to have fun again. The change transformed everything, creating a powerful relationship with her children which is stronger than ever now that they are teens. When she was pregnant with her son, she became passionate about creating a spiritually aware pregnancy, and her connection with her son prior to his birth was crucial through some family tragedy taking place at that time. This later became the topic of her first book. Christina is passionate about helping parents create deep relationships with their children, from birth until fully grown. But she also knows that deep relationships with others can only be formed from a deep relationship with yourself, so through courses, coaching and her writing, she offers tools for the entire family so they can truly become self aware and present as everything they really are.