We humans are a social lot, connecting with others for survival. In fact, the sense of touch, or connection, is the only one of our senses that we cannot live without. Touch also makes us feel better. Research shows that regularly connecting for 5 uninterrupted minutes a day can reduce power struggles by 50 percent in kids 5-years-old and younger.
Researchers have studied connection and touch in the NBA. They find the more connections made, the better teams play. During the 2009-2010 Season, the Lakers and the Celtics were the “touchiest”, or most connected teams, slappin’ butts and giving out high fives. Who made it to the finals that year? The Lakers and the Celtics.
So what does connection mean? And, assuming you are not a butt-slapping household, what does connection look like with children?
Connection with any human, and especially children, involves four elements: eye contact, touch, genuine presence, and playfulness.
One of the easiest ways to add more connection to your parenting repertoire is to create “I Love You” rituals with your children. A conversation works. So does a fun song with silly actions. So remember the NBA and get singing!
An “I Love You” Song
A wonderful woman lived in a shoe
She had so many children, she knew exactly what to do!
She held them, she rocked them,
She tucked them in to bed,
And, “I Love You, I Love You!” is what she said.
For more ideas, see the book I Love You Rituals by Dr. Becky Bailey.
Information taken from Conscious Discipline by Dr. Becky Bailey (Loving Guidance, Inc.)