Want More Peace at Home? Connect Before Logistics
By Vickie Falcone, M.A.
As you know, the logistics of parenting can feel overwhelming. As facilitators of the morning, mealtime, and bedtime routines, not to mention homework, play dates, soccer practice, and more. We are busy! In my own home, I noticed that our mornings were so hectic that my children often left for school on a tense note, leaving us all feeling stressed and disconnected.
So I asked myself: What can I do to create more peace in the morning?
The answer: Connect first.
On school mornings in particular, I began to connect with my children before uttering one word about logistics. I would walk into each child’s room, give a hug and a kiss, make loving eye contact, and say, “Good morning.” This takes all of ten seconds, yet sets an incredibly loving and connected tone for the morning. Only after this do I talk about breakfast, packing lunch or teeth brushing. As a result, my children cooperate more and I feel calmer all day long.
If you make a habit of putting logistics before connecting with your kids, it leads to dis-connection and dis-harmony. Even a small move towards connecting can offer big rewards.
One coaching client, a single mother of two boys shared how disconnected and sad she felt about the lack of communication with her boys. She claimed that logistics was all they ever talked about. “Did you do your homework? Where’s your backpack? Dinner’s ready.” The boys, especially the older one, answered most questions with a single word.
I encouraged her to try connecting before logistics. After finishing his homework, her older son usually retreated to his room to listen to music. One night, she decided she would skip cleaning the kitchen and join him instead.
The next week she reported her experience. “I went into his room and just sat on the bed. He didn’t quite know what to do at first, but I asked a few questions about his music and he started talking.”
“What happened next?” I asked.
Choked with tears, she said, “Every time I got up to leave the room, he said, ‘Don’t go yet.’ So I stayed in his room until 10:45 on a school night.”
Often, in order to build a strong connection with your child and invite more cooperation, all we have to do is take a few moments before start with logistics to really connect. Then watch the miracles happen.