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Connecting to babies and younger children


Forum: Attachment Parenting

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  #1  
April 11th, 2009, 08:34 AM
broxi3781's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: belfast, northern ireland
Posts: 1,563
How do you find ways to connect to your babies/ children and stay close with them?
I think play is one of the most important ways to stay close to babies after the initial newborn period. Just enjoying being together and having fun.
What do you all think?
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  #2  
April 11th, 2009, 07:41 PM
Sophia1Day
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I feel any moment is a moment for connection. Make eye contact, and "be there" with your child. I feel the parent child bond is both protected and strengthened when you are willing to be with your child even when they are having "big emotions" (such as tantrums). One of the things that has been the most beneficial to our family connection has been moving away from isolation during tantrums (time outs) and starting to use time in. I find that time outs (or walking away from child during big emotions) always puts a gap in our connection that they has to be rebuilt, however when we use time in, the connection stays in place, and is then strengthened. Of course, respect plays a roll as well, which means if my child CHOOSES to be left alone, I will leave, but come back periodically so they know I am leaving them alone out of respect, not out of distaste for their behavior.

The other things we do for connection seem obvious to me. Join them in their world, invite them to join in mine, co-sleeping, child led weaning (breastfeeding), reading, want to mention eye contact again, this one is a big one, it is very important for me with my Autistic child, but has been so moving even with my other children. The power of eye contact is amazing. Sometimes I feel like I can send my love for my child right to their heart through eye contact, that in those moments they just know I love them. Sounds cheesy, I know, I'm a corn ball, but my heart leads me this way.

Don't be in a rush. When I wake up late, and my son is late for school, we don't rush. If we are late, we are late. I rather be late and relaxed, then stressed with a strain on the connection with my child. Often times, we end up on time anyway, I find rushing just creates problems that really do result in us being late, but that aside, late or not, it's okay. People are more important then places or things. Everything takes a backseat to my relationship with those I love. You can show this in so many ways. Perhaps an extra hour at the park means you won't get to cook the meal you had planned. That's okay, go for one of your standby quick dinners and stay at the park instead. Your planned dinner will be there tomorrow.

When your baby wont get off the breast, don't look at the housework. Pick a huge pile of movies to watch, and a bottle of water, and make yourself a fixture on the couch. Or perhaps a pile of books, or both.

When you toddler wants to draw on the walls, hand them a piece of chalk. it wipes right off, and they will probably enjoy helping you wipe it off too.

Trying to make the bed and child sneaking under the covers - guess its time for peek a boo under the covers instead of making the bed. it's okay. maybe the bed wont get made today. or this month.

You don't really need to look for ways to connect with your child. They happen naturally. You just have to let them happen. And when the connection is there, don't jeopardize it by letting it seem to your child that your love is only conditional towards when they are doing what you want them to, or when you can "manage their feelings" You summed it up well broxi - be present. Maybe you can't be present all the time, but don't put conditions on your presence. Be willing to be present with them, as they are.

Last edited by Sophia1Day; April 11th, 2009 at 07:44 PM.
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  #3  
April 11th, 2009, 08:50 PM
BoobyDutyAgainJen's Avatar Proud Mom & Birth Mom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia1Day View Post
I feel any moment is a moment for connection. Make eye contact, and "be there" with your child. I feel the parent child bond is both protected and strengthened when you are willing to be with your child even when they are having "big emotions" (such as tantrums). One of the things that has been the most beneficial to our family connection has been moving away from isolation during tantrums (time outs) and starting to use time in. I find that time outs (or walking away from child during big emotions) always puts a gap in our connection that they has to be rebuilt, however when we use time in, the connection stays in place, and is then strengthened. Of course, respect plays a roll as well, which means if my child CHOOSES to be left alone, I will leave, but come back periodically so they know I am leaving them alone out of respect, not out of distaste for their behavior.

The other things we do for connection seem obvious to me. Join them in their world, invite them to join in mine, co-sleeping, child led weaning (breastfeeding), reading, want to mention eye contact again, this one is a big one, it is very important for me with my Autistic child, but has been so moving even with my other children. The power of eye contact is amazing. Sometimes I feel like I can send my love for my child right to their heart through eye contact, that in those moments they just know I love them. Sounds cheesy, I know, I'm a corn ball, but my heart leads me this way.

Don't be in a rush. When I wake up late, and my son is late for school, we don't rush. If we are late, we are late. I rather be late and relaxed, then stressed with a strain on the connection with my child. Often times, we end up on time anyway, I find rushing just creates problems that really do result in us being late, but that aside, late or not, it's okay. People are more important then places or things. Everything takes a backseat to my relationship with those I love. You can show this in so many ways. Perhaps an extra hour at the park means you won't get to cook the meal you had planned. That's okay, go for one of your standby quick dinners and stay at the park instead. Your planned dinner will be there tomorrow.

When your baby wont get off the breast, don't look at the housework. Pick a huge pile of movies to watch, and a bottle of water, and make yourself a fixture on the couch. Or perhaps a pile of books, or both.

When you toddler wants to draw on the walls, hand them a piece of chalk. it wipes right off, and they will probably enjoy helping you wipe it off too.

Trying to make the bed and child sneaking under the covers - guess its time for peek a boo under the covers instead of making the bed. it's okay. maybe the bed wont get made today. or this month.

You don't really need to look for ways to connect with your child. They happen naturally. You just have to let them happen. And when the connection is there, don't jeopardize it by letting it seem to your child that your love is only conditional towards when they are doing what you want them to, or when you can "manage their feelings" You summed it up well broxi - be present. Maybe you can't be present all the time, but don't put conditions on your presence. Be willing to be present with them, as they are.
AMEN!!! I LOVE this reply!
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  #4  
April 12th, 2009, 08:22 AM
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Sophia, it couldn't have been said in a better way. Thank you for your comments.
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  #5  
April 12th, 2009, 03:58 PM
HS&Fsmom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 2,611
I agree with Sophia. It's about being in the moment with them. Not about letting everything in your life revolve around them (remember the "B" of Balance), but experiencing the moments to the fullest even occasionally at the expense of whatever... a clean house, personal time, whatever. Those things can wait, but babies sure won't stay babies long!!

I was going to say that now Hugo is older and getting to be more mobile and verbal, one way we connect is to go places. It doesn't have to be expensive. I try to think a little past what would be at his level, that way he's always expanding his horizons. This week he went the science museum for the first time and just loved it. He got a magnet with a tiger and a placemat for his spot at the table, so we can look at them together and talk about the tigers we saw and the fun we had- and then connect to new experiences, like reading about tigers or other animals. Or just going to restaurants or the grocery store to get new foods to try, or walking outside to mail a card that we made. I feel like it's letting the child be your sidekick and learn with you what life's about and what makes it great.
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  #6  
April 12th, 2009, 09:00 PM
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<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<[quote=Sophia1Day;15325871]I feel any moment is a moment for connection. Make eye contact, and "be there" with your child. I feel the parent child bond is both protected and strengthened when you are willing to be with your child even when they are having "big emotions" (such as tantrums). One of the things that has been the most beneficial to our family connection has been moving away from isolation during tantrums (time outs) and starting to use time in. I find that time outs (or walking away from child during big emotions) always puts a gap in our connection that they has to be rebuilt, however when we use time in, the connection stays in place, and is then strengthened. Of course, respect plays a roll as well, which means if my child CHOOSES to be left alone, I will leave, but come back periodically so they know I am leaving them alone out of respect, not out of distaste for their behavior.

The other things we do for connection seem obvious to me. Join them in their world, invite them to join in mine, co-sleeping, child led weaning (breastfeeding), reading, want to mention eye contact again, this one is a big one, it is very important for me with my Autistic child, but has been so moving even with my other children. The power of eye contact is amazing. Sometimes I feel like I can send my love for my child right to their heart through eye contact, that in those moments they just know I love them. Sounds cheesy, I know, I'm a corn ball, but my heart leads me this way.

Don't be in a rush. When I wake up late, and my son is late for school, we don't rush. If we are late, we are late. I rather be late and >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >

Boy, this was a perfect post to remind me to stay connected. Even though my philosophy has been and still is AP, there are days when I am just so tired that I become a spectator to my 20 month old rather than a participant. I feel guilty those days. Thanks so much for being my lightbulb!
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  #7  
April 12th, 2009, 11:30 PM
Sophia1Day
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Got to cut yourself some slack mama! We all have off days, we have needs that need to be met too and the reality is sometimes getting rest will help you be more present in the long run. Being a participant doesn't always equate to being present - if you are so tired you are just going through the motions its better to give yourself that much needed rest so you can be truly present. Heck, sometimes you can be more present by being a spectator! I am sure you are doing a simply wonderful job JenBun
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  #8  
April 13th, 2009, 07:39 AM
broxi3781's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: belfast, northern ireland
Posts: 1,563
These words say so so much "Don't be in a rush"
I know there are times we must hurry, such as for a medical appointment whatever ( I usually plan on being ready 15 minutes early), but most of the time I wonder whats the hurry? Is life a big race? I'm not in such a rush to reach the finish line, I'd rather enjoy the trip.
And I think some of the best moments for connecting to children arent the special planned activities, but just those everyday moments that pop up when you have time. Walking along stopping for every bug or flower or mud puddle - those times are magic
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