Keep Connections Open

Some of the ways parents relate to their children work against emotional closeness. Be careful not to undermine your own efforts with actions that close your child’s heart. Here are a few examples of things to avoid:

1. Using anger as discipline. Angry responses, sarcasm, and mean words may seem justified at the moment, but they do more harm than good. Anger builds walls in family life. Firmness is important with children, but harshness hinders closeness.

2. Focusing on problem-solving instead of empathy. When children begin to open up emotionally, they reveal problems so obvious that you may have trouble resisting the urge to fix them. Be careful that, in your desire to solve problems, you don’t lose the emotional connectedness that comes through vulnerability.

3. Lecturing is another common pitfall that prevents emotional growth. Just because you have an important truth to communicate doesn’t mean your child is ready to learn. Some children shut down and just tolerate a lecture, missing much of the content. Teaching is valuable, but kids need parents to be creative and sensitive for them to learn life lessons.

4. Too much criticism also hinders emotional connectedness. It may seem that the fastest way to change children is to point out when they miss the mark, but efficiency may miss effectiveness. Children often perceive parents as critical, so be careful how you share negative information. Parents who use children’s mistakes as examples of what not to do often give the impression that the child can’t measure up—which, of course, decreases the child’s willingness to open up.
As you work with your child, remember that a soft heart is an open heart. We need to look for ways to connect before we can impact the heart.

What are some ways you've been able to connect with your child's heart?
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Milan Tomic

Hi. I’m Designer of Blog Magic. I’m CEO/Founder of ThemeXpose. I’m Creative Art Director, Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Interaction Designer, Industrial Designer, Web Developer, Business Enthusiast, StartUp Enthusiast, Speaker, Writer and Photographer. Inspired to make things looks better.

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2 comments:

  1. I am not perfect but there is one thing I always tell my kids. I am a childcare worker and I know they see me as a father figure. With abused kids, they tend to personalize everything (e.g. if you point out a negative they see it as you telling them they are completely bad). They get easily provoked as a result. I always tell them that the negative they hear about themselves (whether true or not) is not all of them. There is something good in everyone and I ask them to think about what is good about them. I find that it helps them get over being provoked a little bit.

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  2. I believe it is important for children to see their parents walk through their emotions, feel them and move on. If a child never sees their parent handle a sad or devastating situation, they will not know how to cope, in a healthy way, as they get older. If a child sees their parent crying and asks what is wrong, we automatically dry up the tears and tell them we are ok, it is nothing to worry about. It is perfectly fine to tell a child, I feel really sad and this is why, ask your child to pray with you, let them see you walk all the way through to resolution. You will allow them to open up and feel safe about sharing their emotions.

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