Since every child and developmental stage is different, some techniques that work with one child may not work with another. That’s why parenting from a posture of emotional safety matters more than any one technique.
Here are a few ideas:
Take time each day to be a kid again
Take at least 20 minutes each day to explore with your kids and celebrate what you discover together. Keep it uninterrupted and let your child lead it. If she wants to color, color with her. If she wants to play dolls or go to the moon, go there with her. If your teen wants you to play video games, do it. Don’t criticize; just be present and see the world through her eyes.
Never miss a local story.
Tell family stories
One way to complement mealtime instead of staring at screens is to tell your kids stories about their family history. Some argue that children who know about their family history have higher self-esteem and a greater sense of control over their life.
Give your child the gift of boredom
Research shows people really dislike being alone with nothing but their thoughts. So much so, they would rather administer an electrical shock to themselves instead of being left alone to think for six to 15 minutes. Don’t amuse your kids into a creative impotence. Constant amusement actually inhibits their creativity and imagination.
Ask yourself one question
Whenever your kids are emotionally overwhelmed, ask yourself, “How can I respond in an emotionally safe way so my child knows he is loved?”
Kissing a boo-boo or giving him a bear hug after a rough day at school isn’t just an act. Endorphins are released in the brain that help our child feel happy while reducing physical and emotional pain.
On the contrary, if we’re harsh, we teach him that people will not be there when he needs them most.