I am all about making emotional connections when it comes to our interactions with our children. I always encourage parents to consider first what’s going on with a child, why is he acting out – what her needs might be – to refrain from taking the behavior personally – to respond instead of react – to be empathic – to be there for him.
But being emotionally connected with your child does not mean never setting limits, or carrying through with the limits you set. And when we do this, a child might be very upset. Yet as parents, we often do need to take charge, to stay calm, yet get the job done, in spite of mighty protests and tears.
For there is, of course, plenty of time for discussions, choices, listening, explanations – until there’s not – and then children need us to lead them, to help them feel safe, to be their security, their guide, to follow through, gently but firmly.
In fact, often a child’s behavior is “asking” us to do just that – to help them stop, to tell them no, to be the grown-up.
I observed two examples of parents doing just that as Play Shoppe came to an end this week.
I watched as these moms understood it was up to them to be in charge, to show the way, and they did.
And their talking will continue, and their connection is still strong, and I believe their children feel the security, the strength and the caring of their parent’s love even more.