Watch this video: https://youtu.be/tzftHNh7xP8
How can you be a barrier to traveling this path early? Children need to be connected. I do not mean that children WANT connections, I mean that they NEED them. In a world where we are so busy that we find ourselves needing an extra 5 hours in every day, we need to take a minute to build some connections with our kids. Sure, we provide lots of fun times, lots of cool gadgets, lots of enriching experiences, but are we leaving out connections?
But without 5 extra hours in each day, how do we do this? I am not going to lie to you, it is indeed going to take a little time. Before you read farther, I need a commitment, a 5 minute commitment. I need a commitment that you will spend 5 minutes with each child in your life, EVERY day connecting.
Alright, if you have committed, I will share the wisdom (note: these 4 elements are taken from ConsciousDiscipline.com)
1 - Eye Contact. You might not be able to see through walls or shoot lasers, but your eyes have super powers. Eye contact turns on parts of the brain built to connect. Make sure that however you choose to spend your 5 minutes of connection, it involves getting onto the same level as the child and looking at one another! Nope, you won't be able to use your 5 minutes of connection watching a you-tube video. Try doing a new yoga pose instead!
2 - Presence. More than just your BODY needs to be in the room. For these 5 minutes, you will put your cell phone on silent (and preferably in another room) and you will be ready, willing and eager to spend this time, mind, body and soul, with your child. Nope, you cannot connect with your child at the same time you are thinking about an argument with your best friend. Try reading a story and using funny voices instead!
3 - Physical Touch. Humans literally die without physical contact. We need air, food, water and touch! (https://youtu.be/OrNBEhzjg8I) Physical touch also opens up the brain for connection. Get close and get personal. You will not be able to sit on another side of the room while watching TV to build connections. Try an "I Love You Ritual" instead! https://youtu.be/C3PtrlnUm4U
4 - A Playful Situation. You could have all of the above elements and not create a positive connection unless you are also willing to get a little bit silly. Some adults might need to think about this a little bit ahead of time. Maybe start by staying inside your comfort zone or looking up a funny game online or find a book that has a funny theme (I LOVE the children's book, The Book with No Pictures). But try, try, try to start to expand your use of your imagination and on-the-spot goofy. Nope, you won't be able to give your child a life-lesson lecture for your 5 minutes. Try playing some sort of charades instead!
That's it. 4 things. Sometimes you will think of a good idea that involves 2 or 3 of thee elements, so try to find a way to incorporate the other(s). I think you've got this!
If we build connections with our children when they are younger, we are setting them up for HUGE success in the future.
Comment below with how you have used your 5 minutes of connection!