I often think about how to best connect with my 10 yr old son. Although it has varied through the course of his young life, there is one way I discovered, that for us, is tried-and-true.
I learned this exercise in a year long, monthly workshop, called “Redirecting Children’s Behavior”, facilitated by Maggie Macaulay. It’s called GENUINE ENCOUNTER MOMENTS (GEMS) and I would like to share this technique with you now.
A GEM is a brief encounter with your child that fills their heart with love and connection and I promise you that when you do this, you will see it in their eyes and you feel it from your heart and it will remind you of this wonderful miracle that you have created.
So often our kids come to us seeking attention to connect. There are many times when they are seeking this connection at inopportune moments and we brush them aside whether consciously or unconsciously. If children don’t feel connected to us, they will find connection through other avenues which may not be the best for them.
When you child approaches you for connection, first, remove anything from distracting you – cell phone, computer, dishes, etc. Next, interact at your child’s level. For some it may be squatting down to get eye-level and for others like me, simply standing and looking right into their eyes. Make sure you make friendly and loving eye contact. Then lovingly touch your child, this might be rubbing their shoulder or holding their hands. Give them 100% of your focus and attention. Then talk to your child and respond to questions and engage with them from your heart, not your head.
This technique has worked every time I have done it with my son since 2014. He feels me. He feels my love. He feels the connection. He feels valued and important. Doing this as often as possible, will dramatically improve your child’s self esteem and create a deeper connection between the two of you.
If you would like to share a way that you connect with your child, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear your ideas!
Until next time,