When and Where?
We know that the reasons to connect are plentiful. Consider these quotes from Catherine Steiner Adair in her 2013 book, The Big Disconnect:
– Children need their parents’ time and attention and families thrive when parents have strong, healthy relationships with their children and children are attuned to the family milieu
– Children are describing a sense that their parents are virtually missing in action, routinely engaged in their cell phone conversation and texting or basking in the glow of the computer screen
Of course, connecting within families also models for kids how to interact with their social groups. Children need to learn how to look at people, wait their turn to share their thoughts and respond to others’ comments. This doesn’t happen unless it is practiced regularly. In her book, The Mind in the Making, Ellen Galinsky reminds us,
“Children who feel listened to, become better able to listen to others.”
In order to create this intention to connect, it’s important to know when and how you will do it. Mealtimes are often a great time for connection, as are moments in the car. This doesn’t mean that we have to be in conversation the entire time. However, when we put devices down and set the intention, there is much more opportunity for connection.
There are times when we want to connect and they don’t. It can feel so frustrating when we ask,
“What did you do at school today?” and hear,
Sometimes connecting is about being there when they start the “download”.
This week, ask yourself these questions:
When are key times to connect in your family?
Where and when are screens not invited to be part of your family’s time together?
When does your child like to connect?
We aren’t the only one’s with the intention to connect in 2017. Check out the video below.