In our parenting courses we talk about the importance of ‘connecting moments’, which like all new skills, takes a while to learn. It isn’t difficult, but for some of us, it can be very different to how we normally communicate with our children. Here is an example from my own learning about how to put it into practice.
I was sitting at the computer looking at Face book. My daughter says to me “Daddy can you look at my picture?” I say “Oh yes, that’s a very nice picture.” She then replies “You’re not even looking.”
This was an opportunity to ‘connect’ with my daughter in that moment in time. If I had to rate my performance, I would say I connected with my daughter in that moment with a score of 1 out of 10.
Sometimes we get distracted by TV, what’s on the computer or whatever we are doing and miss these opportunities to connect with our children. These brief moments in time are what we call Connecting Moments. It’s when we stop what we are doing, turn to face our children, then listen and respond to them.
Now here is the same story but using the skill of Connecting Moments.
I was sitting at the computer looking at Face book. My daughter says to me “Daddy can you look at my picture?” I say “Yup.” I turn around, get up off my seat, put my hand on her shoulder and say “Let me see?”
She shows me. I ask “What is it about?” She says “It’s a picture of Monsters Inc.” I say “Wow, Monsters Inc, is cool, I like that one.” I give her a hug then I go back to the computer and sit down.
Now for my results. I would say I scored 35 out of 10, a massive improvement. These moments only take a small amount of time but when we think about how important our relationship is with our tamariki these extra few minutes to connect with our children are well worth it.