One of the guiding principles of Conscious Parenting is the mantra, coined by Dr. Shefali, “Connection over Correction”. Caught up in our long list of to dos, we often bypass connection in the name of trying to finish our tasks so we can feel better. We think, “I’ll connect later, after I get through what I need to get through.” But in moments when our kids are acting out or not listening to us, they are telling us that they need connection right now. In the moment, this is not always convenient or pleasant but this is much more efficient and peaceful in the long run. Rather than engaging in a power struggle cycle that leaves everyone feeling helpless and is often a lose, lose situation, we help our child move through and process their feelings with love. As I know well myself, this can certainly be easier said than done and it takes both practice and awareness.
So how can we connect when we really want to correct:
- Check in with ourselves. What is happening within you and your body in this moment?
- Tune into your child? What is happening on the surface and what is the truer need underneath the behavior?
- What does your child need right now?
- a snack?
- a hug?
- Drop the “shoulds” and enter the as is.
- Ask if there is anything you can do to help.
- Let them know they are not alone and that they are supported.
- Offer loving silence and presence and wait it out.