The parenting paradigm that I grew up in during the 1960s and 70s was the traditional parenting style, which was based on conditional love. It emphasised punishment, fear, control, criticism, judgement, and compliance through force or guilt as means of discipline.
We have come a long way through many excellent parenting coaches and neuroscientists that showed us that the old parenting paradigm does not work anymore. We need to open up to the new concepts and view parenting as a relationship.
Parenting, like any friendship or marriage, is all about building a relationship with your children and establishing connections with them.
Like any relationship, it takes time, patience, mutual respect, trust, understanding and unconditional love to cultivate.
About 90 percent of people express regrets before passing, wishing that they had spent more time with their children, their family and friends.
If you look forward 20 years from now, how would you like to feel about your family? What would you like your relationship with your family to look like?
So what does a connected family look like?
Do you see your family having dinner together, enjoying each other’s company during dinner time, chatting about each other’s day, or discussing today’s society? Are you out cheering for your favourite basketball teams or netball teams together; sharing memories of birthday parties and planning family vacations together? Discussing your favourite movies, actors, etc…
We all love our children; yes, we say it every day, and we know that, but where does the “love conversation” come from?
Most of the time, we say we love our child/children, but do you feel it in your body like a bond? This is where the difference is… how much you feel about your child/children has everything to do with how connected you are with your children.
When you think about your child/children, how do you feel? What do you see? Can you feel the love and the beauty of your child flowing through your mind and body?
That’s how connections with your children look and feel like.
Connections relate to the relationship between you and your child:
- How bonded you are with your children?
- How in tune are you to your children’s emotional and physical needs through their tone, voice and body language?
- Can you understand them and respect them for who they are by seeing their view point, like through the eyes of a child?
- How can you measure the level of trust you have with them?
In short – it means putting your love in action!