I’ve been on a quest to develop gentle parenting skills. I have read countless books (check out my Books page) but one of my favorite mentors is Dr. Laura Markham, author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids and AhaParenting.com. Her website is full of THE BEST, MOST USEFUL information for parenting with loving guidance.
One of the things I’ve learned is Connection Before Correction. What that means is that when we see an act of misbehavior in our child, we should connect with them before we try to correct them. My first instinct is to go right to the correcting, but as Dr. Markham explains in this article on How to Use Positive Parenting, kids misbehave when they feel bad about themselves and disconnected from us.
All of us, including kids, are always trying to get our needs met. At the moment we see bad behavior from our child, it is their attempt at getting some need met. If we can pause and, instead of punishing the misbehavior, try to figure out the need behind the behavior, we can move towards understanding the need, maybe help filling the need in another way, and create more loving connections.
Dr. Laura Markham says:
Parenting is 80% connection; otherwise kids can’t accept our guidance.
How’s your ratio?
I try to connect with each of my kids daily – for at least 15 minutes, as Dr. Laura recommends. This creates the base of connection with you.
But you can also connect with your child in a challenging moment, too.
Connection Before Correction – In Action