Building deeper bonds with our loved ones. It’s something we all seem to seek and aspire towards.
But why? What is the benefit? Scientific evidence shows that children experiencing deep bonds with their parents get better grades (whoop!), whine less (glorious!), have fewer discipline problems (even more glorious!), are more equipped to solve their own problems (yeah!), and live longer (to take care of YOU for a change)!
And the number one way to build deep bonds isn’t through moments of happiness, fun, and laughter… but rather through helping them when they are upset.
Imagine your child is walking through the yard and the sprinkler immediately comes on, soaking them to the bone. They immediately want to escape. This is caused when the primitive part of their brain (the fight or flight part of the brain) takes over. When the primitive part of the brain is in control, rational thought is MIA. As a parent, our first response is usually to try and solve or minimize the problem. This is natural and okay. Both of these responses can be harmful to your child and the bonds you are trying to connect with them.
According to theIn Love While Parenting app, the most effective way to respond is the following:
Phase 1: The Primitive Brain Phase- Don’t solve, don’t minimize, don’t teach, and don’t take the other person’s side. Why? Because the logical brain (not the primitive brain) has to be active and that comes after the cool down.
Phase 2: The Cooling Down Phase. This can take anywhere from 2 minutes to 2 days! The primitive brain needs time to deactivate. In this phase we just wait for the calmer side to take over so our brain can then move into phase 3.
Phase 3: The Logical Brain Phase. Don’t miss the opportunity to build the bonds here! This is accomplished by being there for them emotionally. Put yourself in their shoes, give A LITTLE advice, and help them label their emotions through reflection.
The most important thing to remember is you don’t have to be perfect in order to make a difference. You got this, and you’re doing a great job!