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How To Parent With Connection Even In Hard Moments (AKA the "bite the doctor" article)

wild connection Apr 20, 2022

Corrine, a mama friend of mine, was in the doctor’s office with her 5 year old daughter and baby son having a horrible time. I’m sure you’ve been there. Her daughter needed a shot. That sucks for everyone, no matter how old you are! Corrine had expected some tears and protestations from her daughter. But what actually happened was a whole different animal.

Her daughter fought her mom and the doctor at every turn. There was shouting. There was screaming. There was running away. There was struggling. There was crying. The whole thing culminated in the moment of the shot, where Corrine’s daughter BIT the doctor!

Everyone Gets Disconnected Sometimes

No amount of positive parenting will prevent your kids from having bad moments. They will have strong emotions, big mistakes, epic failures, and crushing disappointments. I will never suggest that you can prevent that or even that you SHOULD. Life sucks sometimes, and that’s okay.

Also, not every bit of your...

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Connect Before You Correct

wild connection Jan 31, 2022

Connect Before You Correct is a catchy principle for reducing stress in your relationship with your child.

There are lots of reasons you may need to “correct” your child, and you want these important times to go as smoothly as possible.

  • Safety concerns such as keeping a young child out of the street or away from the stove. Or talking to a teen after an incident of drinking or drug use.
  • Stressful transitions such as getting everyone out the door on time for an appointment or moving a young child towards bedtime.
  • Moral concerns like lying or stealing.
  • Personal preferences of others such as helping a young child not chase someone who doesn’t want to be chased or finding a music volume level that works for everyone.
  • Social standards like telling your child to keep their clothes on at the grocery store or not throw their trash on the ground at the park.

In these cases, you have something to communicate to your child that they may not want to hear. What you have to say...

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12 Ways To NOT Connect With Your Child

wild connection Jan 10, 2022

Don’t just do something – stand there.

Yes, that’s backwards from how you usually hear it.

Sometimes it is important to take action.

But other times it’s important to hold space or give your presence.

When your child is upset and expressing an intense emotion like sadness, anger, or frustration, it’s the perfect time to give your loving connection.

You might think you understand what connection IS, but just to be sure let’s talk about some things that connection IS NOT.

I first learned about true empathy, which is a big part of connection, though the book Nonviolent Communication. (That’s an affiliate link.) I recommend everyone pick up this book to learn more! In the meantime, here are 12 things that do NOT create connection in tense moments.

1. Passing Judgment

If you are making a moralistic judgment about your child, you are NOT connecting with them. We are TERRIBLE about this in our culture. There are so many opportunities to use...

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What Is Parenting With Connection And Why Does It Matter?

wild connection Dec 03, 2021

What is the most important thing to you as a parent?

  • Is it keeping your kids safe?
  • Is it teaching them right from wrong?
  • Is it keeping them healthy?
  • Is it sharing your values?

All of those sound important, but are they the MOST important part of parenting?

Parenting means weaving together so many different skills.

You keep your child warm, well fed, and safe. You care for their physical health, their emotional well-being, and their spiritual center.

You’re their cook, their chauffeur, their landlord, and their friend. You juggle housekeeping, paying the bills, and repairing the car.

Somewhere in there you try to teach a thing or two and have a little fun. Maybe you even safe-guard some personal time and private interests of your own.

You have so many priorities. How do you figure out what is most important and what you can let slide?

It turns out there’s one thing that’s more important than everything else.

It’s the quality of your relationship together.

...

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The Three Layers of Parenting With Connection

wild connection Jul 23, 2021

Learning to parent with connection is the most important thing you can do as a parent. In some ways it’s the magic spell that - POOF - makes everything better. But…. (you knew there was a but coming, right?) connection is so different from how we may be used to relating that it can be hard to pull off at first.

I’ve broken it down for you to make it easier for you to know where to start.

Connection comes in three layers. These are three different ways to think about connection. When you stack them together over time, they make the magic happen.

Let’s start with the BIG one - your core connection.

Special Note: Punishment gets in the way of connection. If you don't know how to get started with no-punishment parenting, I wrote an ebook for you. The Gentle Discipline Big Idea Book has 50+ alternatives to punishment. Check it out!

Your Core Connection

Parenting with connection starts with a strong foundation. This is the basic sense of...

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How To Fail At Parenting In Public

wild connection Jul 16, 2021

You’re out in public with your child. (Horror movie music begins.)

A restaurant. The park. The grocery store. (Dun-dun-dun.)

Your child does things that kids do. Some of them are loud or messy or angry or tearful or violent or rude. (Gasp!)

Your mind fills with the imagined expectations from other people. You think they think you should be stricter with your child. Keep them under more control. Stop spoiling them.

You may be right about what those people think.

Everyone has an opinion on how to parent. If you agree with me, then your ideas of what makes a supported, nurtured childhood are very different from the mainstream.

You cannot please those people.

There is no heroic parental magic trick that will sail you through this moment to receive the unadulterated praise of your audience.

You are going to fail at parenting.

At the moment you feel the piercing gaze of the disapproving judges, you have already failed.

Accepting this, embracing this, becoming at one with and at...

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The 15 Seconds That Will Change Your Child's Life

wild connection Jun 17, 2021

I was walking up the stairs behind my son one day and he was going SO SLOWLY!

I wanted to tell him to hurry up!

Or maybe I would try to push past him and go on ahead.

I have no idea what I was in such a hurry to get to, but I felt something a little bit like rage building up inside me. Not my best day, I guess!

On a whim, I started counting the seconds in my head. It’s an old coping mechanism for any time I have to wait.

I got to 7 before we got to the top of the stairs. Well, awesome! That didn’t take that long after all.

A few days later, I was helping him out of the car. He wanted to pause to put his shoes on, even though we were going straight into the house. Couldn’t he just grab them and go on in? There was that feeling again. I started counting.

I got to 8.

Huh.

There are other times in our lives where the waiting is much longer. Baths sometimes seem to take forever! I have to use that time to do something else.

But what I’m talking about here are...

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