Choosing Connections is a positive parenting approach in which the goal is to keep communication and connection open with your child. It is helping a child solve a problem instead of causing a child to suffer because he has a problem.
To choose connection is to see past the behaviors of a child and realize that he is trying to communicate through his behavior. I help parents build their skills to see what a child is trying to communicate through their behaviors and help the parents to stay in a calm, regulated body to stay connected with their child. When a parent chooses to be available, calm and curious, the parent and child can work together to meet both of their needs which will build connection and trust.
Children can also understand what parents are communicating through their own behaviors. If a parent yells, criticizes, complains, nags, and blames, the child understands that the parent is trying to control a child’s behavior. This may result in a child’s choice to obey to a parent’s wishes, but they will not do it from a place of connection, they will do it because a parent has the greater power.
We are all good at wielding our parental power and telling a child how we are going to solve his problem-
“Go to your room!”
“Get your shoes on!”
“Stop doing that!”
Instead of telling a child how you are going to solve his problem, try asking your child to help you solve the problem. The problem-solving rules are that each of you can only offer what you are willing to do to solve the problem. No blaming, no criticizing. Stay calm. Make sure you both understand the rules.
“The problem is that we need to get to that appointment. Let’s see, I could get everything in the car, and get it running, or I could help you put on your shoes if you need help.” Then see what your child has to offer.
By offering what you can to help solve the problem, it keeps communication open helps you both feel closer and gives the child a shared sense of power and freedom to solve the problem. He has options. You may find out that your child has some impressive problem-solving skills when given the chance to solve a problem with you.