At Day One we’re all about growing resilient children – ready for anything that comes their way in the future. But the most important way to do this is by building a super-strong parent-child relationship. A healthy parent-child relationship involves having a strong emotional connection that will result in a stronger more resilient child.
How to Build a Strong Emotional Connection with your Child
1.Aim for 12 physical connections each day
Connection is key, a famous family therapist Virginia Satir said “We need 4 hugs a day for survival, we need 8 hugs a day for maintenance, we need 12 hugs a day for growth!”
This is how children learn, through cooperative play. While playing we are stimulating endorphins and oxytocin for both you and your child. Integrate play and fun into everyday activities.
3. Turn off technology when you interact
We need to be responsive parents, who validate what our children say, however you don’t have to agree with them. It’s about making eye contact and giving them your full attention.
4. Connect before transitions
Young children often have a hard time transitioning from one activity to another. Try creating fun transitioning games between activities for example packing away their lego into buckets by colour before dinner. You will more likely have more success than a directive command.
5. Make time for one-on-one time
Schedule in 15 minutes with each child, separately, each day. You don’t need to spend money or go anywhere, it’s not important to structure the time either. Just spend quality time with your child that gets them laughing!
6. Welcome emotion
Your child needs to express his/her emotions, its normal and healthy. Help your child to label their emotions. Offer understanding and acknowledgement regarding their emotions. Make sure to not let their anger trigger your own.
7. Listen and emphatise
Get in a habit of seeing things from your own child’s perspective this will ensure that you treat him/her with respect and helps you see reasons for behaviour. Look for win/win solutions.
8. Slow down and savour the moment
Every interaction throughout the day is an opportunity to connect. Slow down and share the moment.
9. Bedtime snuggle and chat
It’s important to keep a routine and set enough time for snuggle and chat time. These ‘safe moments’ provide your child an opportunity to talk about what’s on their mind.
10. Show Up
Some of us go through life half present, try practise being present in your child’s presence. Be kind to yourself though, you won’t be able to do this all the time but make it a habit and you’ll get better at being present and creating those moments with your child.