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"Building Stronger Bonds: The Power of Connection in Positive Parenting"

Updated: Mar 6

We have all been there. Your child is doing something annoying, like strangling the cat or not putting their shoes on after being asked for the twenty-thousandth time and you hit the point where you are about to lose your rag…

This is the moment you are meant to STOP and keep calm. If you shout it will inevitably trigger a shouting match or they will break down and cry for what seems like an eternity- This is called fight and freeze. It is a chemical response from our body that is triggered when we are scared or in danger, trust me I read it in many books. We all have it, and it is generally referred to as Fight, Flight and Freeze. Responses to danger. If you have ever watched any horror films or Jurassic Park you can see this response happen… although it generally involves flight; running like hell, either up the stairs or into a toilet, which generally ends up with the person being stabbed or eaten by a t-rex.

Now we don’t want to get eaten by a t-rex and neither do our children!

Connection before correction is basically a head and heart thing, sometimes before we go about stopping or correcting a behaviour, we must heal the bond/ relationship that we have with our children.

Children feel safe when they have a connection/bond with the adults that are taking care of them. They can play and explore the world without the fear of being left or scolded because of something they have done. They know they are loved.

One of my all-time favourite ways to utilise connection before correction is “I love you, but that behaviour is not nice” by doing this you are connecting; “I love you” and correcting; “but that behaviour is not nice” You are not disapproving of your child, you are disapproving of the behaviour. Of course, if you have not taken the time to connect with your children, they will not be accepting of correction.

Tips to build a strong connection

  • Spending time with them – this can be doing anything. One of my favourite things to do is our weekly film night. We all snuggle on the couch, eat pizza, and have fun. Reading a book and playing are other ways.

  • Validate your child’s feelings – When we are understood, we feel a deeper connection. If you can express your feelings freely to someone you feel a stronger connection

  • Hugs – a physical connection is sometimes the best connection, a feeling of being close to someone is the strongest type of connection.

  • Be Fully present – whether it is when you are playing, eating tea, reading a story. Do not let electronic devices or other distractions get in the way.

  • Build trust – if you break a promise repeatedly then your child will expect you to follow that behaviour. Make a promise, keep a promise.

  • Encouragement – if you tell your child they can do things, or that you believe in them, they will start to believe it themselves and try new things.

  • Praise – praise the good things and praise when something has not gone right but your child has worked on the solution.

  • Ask questions – not only when they are telling you a story (as this shows you are fully present) but if they have done something wrong ask them what the consequence should be. I can guarantee their consequence will be much harsher than one you produce but then that helps communication, and you can negotiate.

Once you have a secure connection, you have a strong relationship your child will be more receptive to positive discipline, using connection before correction.

Here is some handy sayings to help.

Have a go, see if it works. We'd love to know your thoughts, but please remember that it needs to be implemented over the course of a few weeks. Otherwise your child may just think you are being super weird all of a sudden!!

When we first tried it, we gave it eight weeks to really set in. I can truly say this technique has saved us so many times when Monkey has been on the verge of a massive breakdown and its helped regulate the situation.

There are also lots of sites and books that look into Positive Parenting, Parenting through Attachment. So if you liked this then why not have a search!


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