Did you eat all your peas and carrots…
Would you like your child to speak to you more and share their feelings openly and freely with you without asking? Read on as this will help.
Scenario 1 – you greet your child after a busy day and ask them all about it – who they played with, what they had for lunch, did they eat all their peas and carrots, what they did in maths, have they got homework and so. You ask them question after question (some parents I spoke to say they question like this because they feel they ‘ought’ to).
Scenario 2– your child is playing with for example their lego, you go over to join in and begin to take over. Maybe you want the bricks to match, the windows aren’t in the right place, and the door opens the wrong way. You start to question and probe and join in with their play in a rather controlling way. The child soon looses interest, walks off and you start to worry about their lack of commitment and connection!
Scenario 3 – your teen is in their room, the door is closed they are on their screen, you haven’t had a conversation in a while.
Do any of these sound familiar to you?
Let’s Rewind the Scenes
How could you just enjoy being ‘alongside’ them?
‘There once was a wise man who said nothing’
How about you just sit there with them, in the moment and just be and not actually do anything. That’s right just be quiet. Breathe, sit and be with them. It might be hard not to talk and take over – so practice. They’ve been over-stimulated, over stretched and haven’t stopped all day, their brains are full! Allow them a break. It’s OK to be quiet, allow yourself to be quiet too.
Reframe the situation, what can we learn from the child, what are they teaching us about being in the moment? Notice them.
Soon, they will start to enjoy your peaceful presence and invite you into their space and start to engage with you. You may even find they start to guide you with what to do, ask you questions and even tell you things that are on their mind because you have allowed them some space and time alongside you, they feel free and safe to express themselves. Resist asking them too much and taking over, enjoy being childlike with them for a while. With older children you may say something like I’m just going to come and sit with you for a while, so you watch them on their screen for 10 minutes or so, again you don’t need to speak you are just alongside them, see what happens you will be surprised.
Little and often.
Are you wanting a little guidance and support to help you to communicate and connect within your family? I am an IamBe Master Practitioner, more details about what I do are over on my Linked-In page here which includes a full list of workshops including our ‘BE SAY DO HAVE’ Ⓒ Contented Parenting model here.
Jane Tyson x
Whilst at University studying Education and Child Psychology, I volunteered with various ‘play’ schemes and trained as a ‘Play Leader’ alongside children in mainstream and special educational need settings from 4 to 18. These experiences led me into Primary School teaching and yoga and mindfulness for families. My stepmother and two step sisters are both play therapists, so I’ve been pretty immersed and passionate about play for 25 years, well 45.
Core Process – Exploring Play.