Occasionally, one of the most common struggles we see in class is the "power struggle" between a parent and child.
You know the one I'm talking about... where your child or another child in proximity is having a hard time plugging into class, making the transition into a new environment, or simply needing to find ways to get their parent's attention? It's par for the course, yet can still be challenging to say the least.
Sometimes, they try hard, kicking and screaming, or just crying intensely to resist this transition or engaging in an activity with you. And, sometimes it's a bit more subtle where they seek out your attention in a silly way by making you chase them around the room or store, etc.
Most likely, your child is feeling a disconnect from you. They don't know how to express this in words, which can often times feel frustrating, so they express it in anyway they think they will get your attention to establish feeling fully seen and held by your presence. Connection is key and is a basic human need. Children very young are still building and strengthening this bond.
Now this is not to say you and your child are not connected. Of course, you are, however, sometimes we can really be in our heads about our To-Do-Lists or personal stresses weighing us down that we don't realize we are not fully present with our little ones.
If you ever find yourself in this situation where your little one is having a hard time with transitions, or entering a new experience, take a pause and find a quiet space to be with your child. This will help you too, mom and dad! If you can't find a quiet space... just remember the key here is connection.
Establish a connection with your child by making eye contact, take a deep breath together and let them know that the two of you are going to do (whatever the activity is) together. Once you establish that connection, and you will know when it is, you should see your child shift into a more relaxed state, as you will too. This will provide a sense of safety and trust.
It's also important to mention, that the goal here is not to get your child to participate or follow along, but to make sure they are feeling connected to you. Chances are, when they feel your presence and connection, they will more likely be open to what's coming next and perhaps, join in the activity with more ease too.
This simple and effective exercise will ease transitions, whether at bedtime, bath time, music class, going into the super market, etc. Hope this helps!
Give it a go, and let us know how it's working out for you? We would love to hear from you!
Here's to happy connections!
Peace, love and music,