The relationship we have with our child depends on the connection we have. Consciously choosing more times of connection means we make this a priority in our lives. We may need to put guidelines in place for ourselves – turning off cellphones at specific times, changing the time of day we prep dinner, making important phone calls only after some invested presence.
We can consciously add in little rituals to our days – eating breakfast at the table together instead of on the run, taking ten minutes each day to chat over milk and a snack after the school day, or walking hand in hand home, or for the last ten minutes to the car after kindy or daycare.
Your child will look forward to these times, and when you can remove the ‘I’m so busy’ lens from your mindset, then you will too.
We can (and should) plan for presence, and at other times the need announces itself.
Maybe you have experienced the toddler clinging to your leg as you cook, getting more insistent that they need you. Your frustration rises and your internal dialogue is going on about, ‘how am I supposed to get anything done’? You look down at that wee face and make a decision. The pot is turned off, chopping set aside and you open your arms for a cuddle, and sit for a breastfeed, story or song.
Ten minute connection or thirty minutes stress
You give your undivided presence and a transformation takes place. It’s not long before they toddle off your knee and you return to your cooking, feeling refreshed and pleased you remembered the power of taking those few minutes.
Ten minutes of connection over thirty minutes stress is worth the pause. It is worth it for stress levels, and worth it for a beautiful relationship built on ‘hearing’ your child and their signals that their emotional fuel tank had emptied.
Recognising this need, rather than battling it, means a more peaceful relationship overall, and we get the best of both worlds – lovely connected time with our child, and then getting things done while they are engaged in their own efforts. A win win for all!