Creating Comforting Connections
What does that word connection even mean? The simple definition is that connection is a relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked with something else, joining two or more things together.
Recently, I went to a dinner that was all about bringing the community together in a connected manner. This group has “get-togethers” once a month with both new and existing attendees, fostering continued growth to increase the power of this community. I was told that there is a division of sorts, like tribes, on this particular island in South Carolina. People are at odds with one another. What I love about this group is that people are working so hard to bring a change to this odd division on the island. At the dinner, everyone went around and shared a brief story about someone in their lives in a “leadership” role that has had a big influence on them and why. While one person talked, everyone else listened with compassion, kindness, and empathy, without interruption or distraction.
This is a great model to take home to our families and foster more spirit of community, connection, kindness, compassion and empathy.
While there are so many big-picture problems that deserve focus in our country and around the world, we can start small by working on the connections that we are developing, nurturing and growing with the children of this world, the innocent and beautiful spirits. Perhaps this will be the drop in the ocean that creates a ripple effect on the larger scale issues.
Every child needs a secure and safe attachment to at least one adult in their life, someone who the child can look up to and who can serve as a role model.
Fostering this connection takes attention. It all starts by looking at each child in our family and creating a way to bond, in which meets the needs of that child, not the parent.
We must first understand our child(ren). Each one is different and comes into this world with a unique “blueprint.” Honoring that blueprint, and watching the child develop step by step helps us to see this child more clearly. Some children are shy by nature, while others are extremely outgoing. Some are overwhelmed with more than one task, and others flourish by managing a multitude of things all at once. Some children are very sensitive and emotional while others are not phased much at all in their lives by what might be considered an emotional experience. These are all the things that we, as parents and role models, need to acknowledge and understand. Once we do, it is much easier to connect with that child, appreciating their unique and special qualities.
Connection helps to strengthen our sense of belonging and community, whether it is within the family, the neighborhood, or the school classroom. We all need and want to feel like we have somebody to count on in the good times and the bad. When we create these bonds and strengthen them often, we are offering our children a secure attachment. When children feel troubled or unsure of themselves, wouldn’t it be great if they turn to this connection to receive support? If we are deeply bonded, we may be able to lend support to a child, before they even need to ask for it. This idea of interactional synchrony, being able to read and interpret the needs of your child through expression, is not only applicable in early childhood but also adolescence.