When asked to write a blog, the first thing that came to mind was the word….CONNECT. Maybe it is due to the situation we are currently finding ourselves in. The lockdown has provided us with a special gift….the gift of having time to connect with our own thoughts, feelings, wishes, plans and fears. A bigger gift was given to us parents, as we have been given the time and opportunity to really connect with our children again.
The daily rush and pressures of living in a performance-driven worldly rat race leads to us, as parents, missing the invisible struggles our children are dealing with daily. During lockdown I have realized that we need to get back to really connecting with our children.
We need to connect without a hidden agendas or any expectations. We need to… just be… with our loved ones, spouses and especially, our most precious belongings, our children. Sit down in a room together, just watch your child, without any distractions (cellphones, thoughts of work, and interruptions by another family member or other responsibilities/chores). Do not guide or direct your child’s play and just watch. Wait to be invited to play with him/her and let your child direct the way you play. Witness who they are, and their world will open up to you. Through play you will learn all about their fears, struggles and frustrations which they conquer through playing it out and working through it in their imaginary world. Connecting with your child on their level will set the scene and provide a safe space in which you can talk and share. Take time to have dinners together, sit and listen to the discussions at the table. Play a board game and get to know more about your child’s temperament and personality. Provide your child with the most important gift… your time… opportunities during which sharing can take place.
Use this precious time to develop a routine and habit of making time to connect and carry it through when all restrictions are lifted.
“LISTEN EARNESTLY to anything your child want to tell you, NO MATTER WHAT. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all if it has always been BIG STUFF.”Catherine M. Wallace.