Choosing to parent differently is a big deal. Particularly if your parents or their parents didn’t do things the same way. Especially if others in your peer group don’t. It can feel daunting. It can feel hard. You can feel a very natural urge to resist it and look for any excuse to take what seems like the “easy road”.
When I first started asking questions and trying to gain an understanding of “peaceful parenting”, I kept being told “It’s a connection problem…”, “Your child is not feeling connected…” and I would be so triggered. I wanted everyone to know I spent every waking moment with my child (lucky number one). I know I was definitely feeling defensive and there was a part of me that was using this perceived slight to hold back and not dive into this practice.
Connection means different things to everyone but I want to help anyone who is feeling like it’s hard to “connect” or have a strong connection because I think we all know it’s important. Connection is also the difference between children choosing our will vs their own.
Good news: You are probably already doing it.
If you are struggling to “find time” or motivation. There are probably already times you are connecting without realising and the only thing that you might want to do, is become more present in it.
I’ve found Special Time to be the best way to connect, bond and refill cups. And I will keep fighting for this practice for those reasons. But it’s certainly getting harder to get happening with my eldest.
I was feeling sad and helpless about this one day and then when I was reading to this child at night time I realised what an awesome connector that was. My child has been an avid, confident reader for years but we still have this little ritual and I keep it appealing by reading stuff slightly above age level… often omitting things (if I’m honest) but that’s how I have managed to keep up this practice even if my child is “too old”.
And it’s something most of my child’s peers don’t have. That time where Mum still reads a book to them. I’m holding onto this one!
Screens I’ve always found a challenge too. We generally have a “no screens during the week policy” and then on weekends they get a few hours and so do my husband and I. But I’ve also discovered the value of a family show or a Mother and child show. And again, realised this is still connecting… we only watch it together so we have this one shared journey and for all my inner turmoil on screen rationing this is actually a great option! (NB: if you have work you want to do on this topic I recommend this).
Basically, look for all these little things you already do and lean into them knowing their value.
If you need to create more connection then don’t be afraid to start small and doable.
Every little bit counts and I know you’re doing your absolute best!
You are a GOOD parent!
I see you!
With warm connection,
Aunty Ask xx