When parents first explore connected or trust-based parenting, they often head straight for the correction toolbox to see what’s inside. They find tools like re-dos, choices, time-ins, and compromises. Eager to see what all the trust-based parenting fuss is about, they start implementing these new-found tools when nothing else has worked.
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Nothing changes, or the behavior becomes worse, and they become skeptics.
“This might be great for those families.”
“My child is to _____ for this to work.”
“I knew this was too good to be true.”
“I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.”
I know the feeling well because this is how our first exposure to trust-based parenting started.
What I failed to understand is the principle of CONNECTION FIRST.
Do not pass
go connection. Do not collect $200 dole out consequences. Go straight to jail connection.
(To be honest, three years in and, while my head knows, I still have poor trust-based parenting reflexes and my heart hasn’t always cooperated.)
A toolbox of the most effective trust-based parenting tools is useless without connection.
Busting through a stubborn toddler tantrum with choices is not going to go well. He needs you to attune to his heightened emotional state and be his guide back down to orbit. THEN, he’ll be ready to make a choice.
Asking for a re-do from a grumpy adolescent will likely result in an infinite loop of sub-par re-dos. She needs you to validate her feelings and empathize. THEN, she can show how to handle the situation differently next time.
The type of connection each child responds to best is based on things like personality, age, and love language.
What is your go-to connection strategy for your child?
Include the age of your child and a little background information.