Connecting through Interest
For really young children who might not be ready for the stress reducing conversation, we can be interested in the things that interest them. Instead of leading them to participate in structured activities all the time, maybe spend some time just watching what they like to do. What gets their attention? While noticing what gets their attention, practice asking really open-ended questions to learn WHO your child is. These are questions like “what is it about the butterfly that makes you want to watch it?” rather than “you like the butterfly because it’s colorful don’t you?”
As your children get older this means exploring their world with curiosity – being open to where they might be taking you rather than assuming you know where they are headed. This means doing a lot of listening and wondering and exploring and being OPEN to what you are hearing.
Dr. Tina Payne Bryson is the co-author (with Dan Siegel) of THE WHOLE-BRAIN CHILD (Random House Delacorte, 2011) and NO-DRAMA DISCIPLINE (Random House Bantam, 2014). In this short YouTube video, Tina reminds us that the activity isn’t really the big thing when it comes to our kids, it’s our presence with them in their world that matters https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ6SPIW64w4 .