Are you wondering how you can slow down and connect with your children at home? And most importantly, what you are teaching your children?
Being at home with your children under one roof can be challenging, but amidst a pandemic with the added strain can be really stressful!
How can you use this time to connect more authentically at home with your children in quarantine?
Here are 8 ways to slow down and connect with your children at home.
1. Slow down.
You’re probably feeling frustrated with reactionary emotions to a difficult situation. Slowing down and getting real with your emotions shows your kids how to be resilient.
The first step is making a distinction between worry and concern. Sharing your authentic emotions from concern is different than reacting from worry. Your emotions show up when you’re willing to be vulnerable and a calming strength lives here.
- Poor health
- Low energy
- Inability to “self-repair”
The impact of worrying creates fear and an inability to act because you’re in “reactive” mode and you fail to connect with your children.
Concern, on the other hand, accepts uncertainty, but instead of living from fear, you live from faith. You feel more cautious but can still move forward.
By getting in touch with your authentic emotions, you’ll express and release them from your body instead of letting them become toxic to you. Allowing panic and anxiety to control you isn’t helpful to push onto your children. You’re there to help manage their fears.
Concern seeks inner peace so you can find clarity amidst any chaos. Using your emotions gives your kids permission to do the same.
2. Pay attention to how you speak.
What you say when things go wrong has a deep impact on the way your children speak to themselves. Wander back to your childhood to a time when you messed up… Remember how you felt. What did you most need to hear?
Have the courage to say to your child what you wanted to hear, instead of responding with a lecture. Once emotions have subsided and you’re not in a reactive mode, respond by “sharing” what wasn’t working, not “telling” them what went wrong.
Do you know how hard your child can be on themselves when they’ve made a mistake and there’s punishment, silence, or a condescending look?
Do you understand how abandoned a child can feel when you turn your back on them with punishment or shame, instead of meeting them with compassion and understanding?
So much of the way children think and why they behave the way they do is hidden from you. Discovering what’s underneath requires listening and empathizing.
What you “tell” your children — even with good intentions — can cause them to shut down and feel unheard. If you’re getting resistance, that’s how you’ll know you need to rethink your words and overall communication style.
Notice your words, the tone you have, and your emotion (usually anger and frustration) — all of it will land as blame.
Check-in with your own inner voice for how you speak to yourself. Is it patient and curious or harsh and self-critical? That’s the same voice your child hears.
3. Understand what your child experiences in media.
Your children aren’t just dealing with you, but the increasingly louder voices among peers and the media. Are you aware of the tone in the environment surrounding them?
Are the games they play, the shows they watch, or Instagram stories they follow more competitive and reactive, or respectful and non-judgmental?
How might what you watch and listen to affect what becomes acceptable in your home interactions?
The media leans toward dysfunctional drama and prefers negativity because that’s what sells. There’s an insidious level of judgment, attack, and gossip that can creep in and appear normal.
When you can find media that’s meaningful and resonates with both you and your child, it’s an opportunity to have authentic conversations and connect with your children.