You might find yourself scrolling through the highlight reel aka social media and wonder, “Is that really how they are behind the screen?”
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love to share bright, vibrant, and fun photos to celebrate all the amazing things of life!
And, what’s also true is that in the bright, vibrant, and fun things of life there’s also the dark, cloudy, and tough stuff that makes up who we are and how we act – alone and, particularly with others.
So, the question you may be wondering is how can we mix all this stuff together and still have lasting, loving, and healthy relationships with our kids?
I have a few tips and tricks I want to share that will help you building last relationships with your kids – whether you are a parent, educator, or leader.
Relationship Building Tip #1 – Be Present
Being present is more than just being in the same room with each other. It’s all about the energy we put into being who we want to be for the other person. So, put your phone down. Ask your kids to put their electronic devices away.
Look at each other. Dare I say the “V” word… and be vulnerable with each other. It doesn’t have to be a lecture and you don’t need to get on your soapbox.
Simply be there with them. You can even do this with a simple “hello” and take your everyday greeting to something pretty spectacular. How?
Look at the other person and show them you are present through your eye contact. They will feel it deep down inside.
Relationship Building Tip #2 – Listen Deeply
Take a moment to center yourself by taking a few deep mindful breaths. Not sure where to start? Click here to get my free guided visualization.
Get out of your head. Stop thinking about yourself so much! And, listen to what your kids are saying. That means listen to their words, their body language, and their tone. Listen for the things they say and don’t say.
Don’t fix. Simply listen.
I’ll say it again because it’s important. Don’t try to fix your kids’ problems. Listen deeply to them. Your listening creates trust, safety, and engagement.
Relationship Building Tip #3 – Acknowledge Them
This is a big one! Think about how often you acknowledge others for the good stuff they do in life! We tend to focus on all the things going wronginstead of all the things going right. When we get into that pattern we can create a big disconnect with our kids.
Acknowledge them for the things they are doing well. Even if you are going through a stormy season with your kids, you can find something, anything, to acknowledge them for that they are doing right (even a wee bit right, lol!).
Acknowledgment is a doorway to connection. It helps our kids feel seen, heard, and valued. And, it’s backed by research.
As Brené Brown says, “Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued – when they can give and receive without judgment.”
If we want lasting relationships with our kids, with anyone in our life really, we have to show up and do the work despite what life throws at us.
We can take the highlight reel and mix in the shadow reel, and just be real.