In a world filled with smartphones and technology, connectivity more often than not refers to wifi. And while technology has done wonders to make distance seem insignificant between loved ones, it can also mean we are more disconnected than ever with those right in front of us. As a society, we are becoming increasingly emotionally detached, and when combined with the importance placed on busyness and perfection, more often than not, our fast-paced and chaotic lifestyles can get in the way of centering our families and relationships as our number one priority. Add the challenges of parenting on top of this, and sometimes it can seem overwhelming to cultivate an authentic connection with your child. It takes intentional work, but we have a few practices that can help you make the space needed for you and your child to bond and grow.
Set screen time boundaries for yourself.
Teach your children how to cultivate a healthy relationship with technology by demonstrating one yourself. When you’re with your family, have clear boundaries for when you do and don’t have screen time. Perhaps this looks like staying off of social media when your children are home, or for those who work at home, only checking your email during certain hours. This sends the message to your child that technology has its time and place, and ultimately, face to face connection is the most important way to spend your time.
Listen, don’t fix.
It’s heartbreaking to hear your child struggle with a challenge. But instead of rushing to ‘fix’ the situation, first, listen and empathize. Let them know that it’s ok to experience the emotions that arise, and that there is no right or wrong way to feel. Parental panic at a child’s challenging situation can send the message that bad news or challenging emotions make you uncomfortable, and can result in your child keeping things to themselves in order to spare you discomfort.
Name the challenges directly.
By confronting issues and emotions directly, difficult stories and hard emotions become destigmatized. Dancing around them simply reinforces that something is “wrong”, rather than an experience to learn from. Not only does this make your child more comfortable sharing their difficult moments, but it also empowers them to talk about fears and challenges openly and honestly.
By cultivating empathetic and safe spaces to strengthen the bond between you and your child, you are creating the opportunities to embrace authenticity both individually and as a family. How do you celebrate authenticity in your parenting role? Join us at our upcoming Authentic Parenting workshop series to meet other parents and learn new skills and practical takeaways to help you and your child live to their greatest potential.
The Strength in Motion wellness community believes in a mind, body, and soul approach towards finding and sustaining balance. We feel honored to be on your path in some way and are here to support you in living to your greatest potential.