One of the most important things that you can do as a parent is establish a connection with your child. In fact, children need connection more than anything else.
Here are a few ways that you can begin to build a great connection with your child:
1. Make one-on-one connections with your child. Instead of asking a question from across the room, take an extra 15 seconds to walk to your child, get down on their level, maybe tap their shoulder or touch their arm, and ask the question. Chances are they will engage right away (instead of ignoring you) and answer you because you have made that personal connection.
2. Connect with your child as many times per day as possible. Every positive connection with your child means fewer disconnected or frustrating moments for both of you.
3. Begin positive connections when your child is young. The more positive connections you make early on, the better they will respond and communicate as they get older. Over time they will have a strong enough connection with you that you no longer need to be right in front of them for them to answer your question.
4. Reduce stressful interactions. Good connections reduce stress or cortisol, which is the stress hormone. If you get upset with your child, it makes them upset, too. By improving your connections daily, you begin to eliminate some of the obstacles in your communication with them which also eliminates stressful interactions
Boost their Neurotransmitters!
You can “up” your child’s neurotransmitters to build a better parent-child connection, which means improving your relationship with your child by giving them positive reinforcement in a variety of ways that will allow them to thrive, feel happy, and be healthy.
1. Tell your child about something that is going to happen that is exciting, so they can look forward to it. This improves the neurotransmitter Dopamine which is the anticipation chemical.
2. Hug your child and let them know they are important. Oxytocin is the chemical that reacts through touching.
3. Give your child praise for good behavior or a job well done. This improves Serotonin which is about feeling satisfied.
4. Finally, give your child the chance to run and play or engage in a fun physical activity, especially when they are stressed or feel anxiety. Endorphins are engaged through active movement.
The last key bit of advice is to self-assess. How connected you think you are with your child right now? On a scale of 1 to 5 what grade would you give yourself? Put these tips into action and make a better connection with your child because the more you connect, the better.
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Sensei Chris Feldt is the owner and chief instructor of Samurai Karate Studio, a leadership academy located in Northeast Columbia, South Carolina. His school teaches karate to children and adults ages 4 and up. SKS specializes in self-defense, anti-bullying, stranger danger and character and leadership development.
Mr. Feldt was an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina for college credit in karate and self-defense. Samurai Karate Studio has been recognized as a leader in martial arts instruction by being honored with the Best of Columbia Award for martial arts instruction for 7 consecutive years in a row.
Sensei Feldt is a certified instructor for C.O.B.R.A., a worldwide self-defense, and personal protection program. SKS offers Active Shooter Training, Real Estate Safety, 10 Week Self Defense Academies, Bully Workshops, and Child Safety Camps.
Sensei Feldt has been a guest speaker in the Richland 2 School District covering school talks on stranger danger, anti-bullying strategies, kindness, and making good choices. He is available for both private and corporate self-defense seminars
Samurai Karate Studio is also a proud member of MAAB, Martial Artists Against Bullying, a nationwide program made up of martial arts schools throughout the country that are committed to helping children who are victims of bullying. If you or someone you know is being bullied, we are here to help. But, you have to take the first step and either call us at 803-462-9425 or email us at: [email protected]
Bullying is one of the most serious issues we face today and with the right coaching, students can learn how to defeat the bully using non-violent strategies.