Connection is the thing that comes out so strongly in whatever we are doing, whether that is parenting our children, connecting with our partner, or with our friends and family members. When we focus on connection, things start to change.
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We come at everything from a different angle when we focus on connection.
When we’re trying to understand where the other person is coming from, we respond differently and that’s where we start to see changes in relationships and behaviour.
When our child is getting really frustrated for example when you ask them to tidy their room, if our response is “here we go again”, they are going to get a different connection from you than if we respond with “that’s great, shall we do that together?”.
That’s going to get a very different reaction from them. For some children, it won’t work first time. It takes time, and it’s all about how we connect with them.
As parents, we’re in charge of our own responses.
We are in charge of how we connect with them, of how we respond to them, how we see their behaviour. If we see their behaviour as being difficult/obnoxious/naughty/they’re old enough to know better – then that makes creating positive connections really hard.
I say that as a parent who has absolutely thought like that at times, but also as a parent who over the past 2-3 years has done a lot of inner work to understand my own triggers, to release past hurts, to release some of the traumas and upsets of parenting my son and through that, I’ve seen a change in me and the connection and relationship I have with my son, and I’ve seen HUGE changes in the behaviour of my son.
Healing myself has enabled me to help my son to heal more.
I think that is a huge part of our work as parents, it’s not just expecting our children to be able to get it right straight away and to be able to stop doing something the first time you tell them. Lots of children don’t have that ability, not because they’re bad kids, but because they haven’t learned how to do it yet.
A large part of our job as parents is teaching our children these things, and we need to role model that to them. If we want them to understand their own emotions and understand what to do when things go wrong, then we have to model that to them. We need to hold a mirror up to ourselves quite often and say “is this really what I want my child to see as their role model?” and if It’s not, then maybe it’s time to make some changes.
I know that it is not easy, and I know that when we are experiencing extremely difficult and challenging behaviour, it’s is very easy to think “it’s not me that needs to change, it’s my child that needs to stop this behaviour, I can’t cope with it anymore”.
Having got to that point as a parent, that was when I realised I needed to make sure that I was having the therapy and support in the ways that worked for me that enabled me to see my son in a different way. It enabled me to see what his behaviour was communicating and that’s where we’ve had the absolutely game changer in our relationship and in our connection.
I’m sharing this with you, not so you think “I’m not a good enough parent” but because this is what has helped me and so many other that I’ve worked with.
I want to help make things better.
This is about all of us having things that trigger us and impact on us, and unfortunately our children often trigger those things. We need to heal from those ourselves in order to help our children heal and create the types of connections that we all want with our kids.
Our own mindset is such an important part of that. We are the only ones that can make the decision to make a change, and reflect on how our own responses are impacting on our connection with our kids.
This is something that’s become increasingly important to me over the last few years. As I’ve healed, I’ve seen the huge impact that it’s had with my son, because my responses are different.
I’m more able to be engaged, I’m being much more present rather than worrying about what’s going to happen in 5 years time. We all do that as parents, we want our kids to achieve the best they can possibly achieve and it can be very hard to see any positive future when we’re currently responding to difficult and challenging behaviour, but the only thing we can do now is manage US now.
By thinking about how we are parenting right now, and how we are connecting with our child right now – that’s how we change the future.
“What can I do right now to help right now”.
What we do now is what’s going to impact on the future as we move forward.
We’re all a work in progress, there’s no such thing as “done” when it comes to working on ourselves and healing our connections.