Parenting Tips on Establish Connection:

The Benefit of 2 Minute Connection
before Hard Conversations

Just like Rome, our brains were not built in a day. The brain is a carefully curated and crafted thing. The brain knows to pull our hand away from something hot before we consciously do, tells us to breathe on our own, and aids in assessing the environment. Our brain scans the environment for scents, sights, sounds to alert us to when we need to be aware and safe.

This powerful brain in kids can tell when their parents are mildly annoyed, and about to raise their voice because of frustration. Once the brain enters into a reactive state, a lot of the reasoning, rational, and thought goes out the window. So whenever we come to our children with that big conversation, it often helps to be as calm as possible. If children assess a threat in their environment they are likely to jump into a reactionary response, instead of staying in the processing side of their brain.

An effective way to come to our children, especially when we think of emotionally charged topics, is to maintain a sense of confidence and calm before approaching the difficult conversation. This can be hard to do because none of us are perfect. While we all jump into conversations with the best of intentions, it can be hard to slow ourselves down, especially when feelings like anxiety, anger, or sadness are driving the conversation.

If your child can sense hesitation, anger, or concern, they may react by trying to leave the room, yell, or shut down, similar to what we observe when the brain preserves any threat. These moments can throw hopes of a productive conversation out the window.  A wonderful solution for this is establishing that connection even for just two minutes. 

What does this look like? 

Remind your child that you’re there for them, remind them of the warmth and care in the dynamic. Ask them about their day and take the time to listen. Even if it’s establishing connection through a hug, these are all ways that we can work to make sure the mind is in a relaxed state and open to the nuance of a difficult conversation.

We know our own children best and sometimes this means providing some humor, checking in with how they feel, talking about an observation of a pet, or anything to lighten their mood and establish a connection. Whatever helps you connect with your child can sometimes change the entire outcome of a conversation. When you take a few minutes to check-in and connect before discussing the more challenging topic at hand, your child will be more receptive to hear what you have to say.

If you find yourself having to have a hard conversation with your child, be encouraged by the opportunity to connect, provide calmness, and encourage safety. For more tips on parenting, check out Decade2Connect today!

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