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Parent-Child Communication: React or relate?

Photo by Hank Williams Thomas

You know that moment right after your child says or does something that pushes your buttons?

That oh-so-brief moment right before you say or do something in response?

That is the moment you have a choice... react or relate, command or communicate, belittle or be an adult.

That moment is a gift of time that can make a lifetime of difference. Use it wisely.

~ L.R.Knost - Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources

Dearest parents, please consider aiming for parent-child communication that prioritizes connection over:

  • being right
  • teaching a lesson
  • being on time
  • being in charge
  • having the last word
  • meeting some external standard

I invite you to actually pause right now and reflect on this. Imagine, in the heat of the moment, you're upset and aiming to respond in the best way possible to your child, and you pause and think "What will help me connect with my child right now?"

Empathy for yourself and for your child would likely be a great start.

If this piques your interest:

  • Check out L.R. Knost's Facebook page which will lead you to her books
  • Read Connection Parenting: Parenting through Connection instead of Coersion, through Love instead of Fear by Pam Leo
  • Investigate Marshall Rosenberg's Non-Violent Communication. Read his book by that title, join a practice group if possible, and/or focus on NVC for parents - for example, try this article by Inbal Kashtan.
  • Take one of my courses 🙂

Regardless of whether you manage to study up on this....

Let us turn our thoughts again to that moment, that heated moment between you and your child.  As L.R.Knost reminds us, we have the choice.  We always have a moment of choice.  And we can always pause - PAUSE - if we need time to make a choice that will meet our desire to prioritize connection and communication over command and control.

Pause, breathe, and connect, dear parents. 

You will be repaid many times over for the time and effort.

Mother's Helper by Diego Rivera