Updated: Jan 11, 2021
So I have a theory. Every time I ask my kids to do something, “Luke, put your legos away for scripture study”, or “Joey, please take this downstairs for me”...there is a little internal calculator going on in their head. An emotional calculator of sorts. They don’t know it, but it’s there. It’s adding up the amount of connection I have had with them in the last say...24 hours. If their “mommy cup” is full, they will complete my request without complaint. If there are not at least some deposits in said mommy cup, they say ‘no’ or ignore me.
Some may say they should obey me because I am their mama. Some may say that mommy cup is impossible to fill up. Here is what I say: “truly connecting with my kids has, without a doubt, been the number one thing to draw cooperation out of them. It’s all about connection with these little people. Connection. It may not fix every parenting problem we face, but it helps with most of them. Sure I still deal with power struggles, unleashed tempers from children and parents alike--but at least now I have the mystery unlocked in most situations. If I have a bad day with them, I can usually retrace my steps. And when I take the time to do this, guess what I find? I was a distracted mom or for some other reason, did not take the time to fill that mommy cup.
Amy McCready, who is the founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, has a lot of helpful principles that we have melded with some others to form our parenting ideals. One of the things we learned from her course was that everybody in the family has two major needs: to feel significant and to belong. There are many ways we can help our children feel significance and belonging. One of the main ways we strive to infuse this into our home is by making sure that regular connection time occurs with each child each day. We have really taken this to heart. Some chapters I have been better at this than others.
Will you join me in giving some extra focus on your little cherub(s)? Let’s fill that mommy (or daddy) cup. I know the unplugged, undistracted connection time with them pays off big time now and in the long term. Every time.