I grew up in a typical Chinese family, parents busy working to meet the end needs. As of now, I have difficulties in recalling good memories with my parents. That sweet memory seems faded away, and the only understanding that I get is my parents always busy to work. I do have siblings, but due to a high different age gap, we are seldom playing things in “eye-level” (I will elaborate more in the future). So my parenting style is obviously copying most of what I had been through in my childhood. I do realize that the need for building a secure connection to children is a responsibility. Parents are responsible for making a connection with their children. Not only providing physical needs but also emotional needs. Which is why I cultivate habits of consistent weekly spending time with my children. This is what I learned after attending Good Enough Parenting Workshop.
I was naive, I assume kids only needs little attention when they are 0 – 2 years, and mainly is feeding them. But building emotion connections from a young age is way easier to compare when they older. If I can turn back time, I do want to spend more time with my son when he is this age. Although I personally believe that I do spend enough time with him along these years. Putting effort is essential, especially when they are still young. Because it tends to forget easily, so I have to keep building a good relationship with my son.
In the beginning, it is kinda tricky for me to have consistent weekly spending time with my son. I have to make a schedule for this, pick one of the days where we both spend personal time. I choose Tuesday morning since that is the time I can come office slightly late. As I write this article, my son is just two years old. So our spending time consists of having breakfast together, we do play a guessing game, and share over a meal together.
He is quite talkative compared to his age, so lots of times he told me some stories that I do not quite understand. But that is ok because I make sure I really pay attention to what he says and confirming that I listen to him. These habits cultivate healthy emotions to children so that they will have a secure feeling of sharing things to parents. Tips is that remove all distraction (especially smartphone) and maintain eye contact.
What happens if you have two or more children? Take each of them out weekly. This exercise needs to be done individually. Take an example if you have three children. So the father needs to arrange an individual time with each of their kids, so does the mother and it needs to be at different time. Check these articles for more details.
You would not get the benefit after doing it one time. Cultivate this habit and slowly if you observe your children they will have changes (some children take a longer time, but that is ok. Make sure to keep doing it). You can also do some activity together, remember the focus is to build a relationship. I notice now my son listen more to what I told him. In the past, I have to keep repeating and tend to discipline him due to this. Apart from listening to me, he is often trying to find me instead of keep attached to my wife. The best part is that, when we play together, we really have lots of fun. I always keep reminding me that I need to aim to be a healthy parent, not competent.