By Amy Hayes
Running a business is like two full time jobs.
Then add to that the job of parent, and you have one busy life! You may feel your children are being neglected, many of us do. But I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t take a lot of time to be a good parent, just the right tools. Maximize the snippets of time you do have with your child, and use some clever techniques for when you are apart, and your child will feel how much you really do love them.
Let’s talk about a very powerful tool that will enable you to connect at the heart level and develop a deep, lasting relationship, in spite of your lack of time together. In fact, this one skill can revolutionize ALL your relationships, from your spouse to your employees.
Connect at the heart level.
Connecting at the heart level is overlooked by most parenting ‘experts,’ although I’ve begun to see some articles on connection parenting. I’ve been teaching this for years and it truly will change your life forever. The foundational skill used is identifying and affirming feelings. The good news is this isn’t something you have to add to your calendar! In other words, it isn’t going to take up chunks of time. You don’t have to plan elaborate outings or spend any money. All it takes is your willingness to be attentive at the right moments in an effective way.
I use a tool called The Heart Minder, so you can begin to get inside your child’s life. You can begin to open up his heart in a way that allows him to share his deepest self with you. Most of the time parents deal with the external needs of their child, such as getting them where they need to be, feeding them, making sure they have clothes and school supplies, and providing opportunities to develop their gifts and interests in the form of sports, arts, and other activities. These are the things that require resources of time and money. And in all of this, the heart can still be lost. Believe me, I’ve been there.
It is vital that parents learn to connect with their child at the heart level for their own sake but also for their child’s. If a child does not get the emotional support he needs at home, he will look for it elsewhere. This can lead to dangerous associations and activities. The Heart Minder gives you that effective tool you need to connect with your child.
At the foundation of this tool is the idea of affirmation. We all want someone who will understand what we are feeling and accept us regardless. Children are no different. For young children, much can be accomplished simply by identifying their feelings. This helps them understand feelings and that they are not unusual. By identifying, accepting and affirming feelings for older children they begin to realize you understand what they are going through. They will be more open to your input and even seek out your counsel as you begin acknowledging their feelings and allowing them to have them.
Amy Hayes is the Parenting in Business contributor for The OffBeat Business Magazine. Amy is the mother of 8 children, from grown to adolescent, and coaches business owners, church groups and others to improve effective communication for parenting success. You can also reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.