Connecting with Your Child (or Anyone Else For That Matter)

Connecting with Your Child (or Anyone Else For That Matter)

By Astra Niedra

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Connecting with your children and with other people is something we all do but is also something few of us understand. We all know when we have a connection with someone and when we don’t, and we are aware that sometimes our connection with the same person varies over time, which can be a frustrating aspect of relationships. We even use language to describe these connections such as ‘She was so cold today’, ‘It was as if he just wasn’t there’, ‘I was talking to her but she was off somewhere else’, ‘There was a great vibe between us’, ‘The energy was flat at the party’, ‘I feel smothered by her’, ‘He is so distant and cool’, and so on.

Our connection with others is an energetic thing, and because it is not visible to most people, many don’t pay attention to it. It is easier to follow instructions on what to do with our physical bodies than our energetic systems. Thus people find it easy to hug someone in order to feel close, or to kiss or shake hands. But most of us will be able to feel if a hug or kiss is cool or warm, even if we don’t understand what makes it so.

Not only do our children feel how we connect (or not) with them, but they need us to connect with them in order for them to be emotionally nourished.

This type of feeding is as important as the actual food we give them. On a fundamental level, it makes them feel as though they exist, that they are important, that they have been validated. It is makes them feel loved. If children are not touched energetically by their caregivers then they will seek that touch elsewhere if they are old enough to do so, or, if they are still infants, they will withdraw their own energy field in an attempt to protect their vulnerability.

Fortunately, most parents naturally connect with their children to some degree, but it is helpful to be more conscious of how you connect with them. This allows you to adjust the connection as circumstances change; to remain connected with your child while you are doing something with them, such as breastfeeding or playing a game, yet you also need to pay attention to other matters at the same time; and it also helps you to choose babysitters and other carers who will relate with your child on this level.

As with learning to use any sense, with connection the first thing to do is to pay attention to it. You can start by looking in the mirror and imagining you are beaming out warm and welcoming energy. See if you notice how you feel in response to your own effort. Then change this and give out cooler energy. Then take it further and give out unwelcoming energy. With those different energies, practice adjusting their intensity. Feel the difference, both in how it feels to you and in how you appear.

You can practice also by varying your energetic communication with your partner or with a friend and give feedback to each other about how you are doing. Sit opposite each other and take turns extending your energy field to the other person. Intend it to be warm and then cool. See if the other person picks up when you are extending warm energy and cool energy. Play with turning the energy up and down and pulling it back. Have your partner give you feedback on how it felt for them as you tuned your energy.

With your baby or older child, you can also practice by intentionally extending your energy field out towards them, with the energy coming from your heart area. Notice if they respond to you as you do this. With an older child you can even discuss this with them and ask for their feedback. If your child is a baby, simply look at them and hold them and extend your energy to them, or talk or sing as you do this. Babies respond so quickly to changes in our energetic communication with them that you will see the effects of your change in connection instantly.

I know when I am with my children and my attention, and therefore connection, wanders someplace else because my youngest daughter particularly will make very obvious attempts to get it back! If I ignore her, the attention-seeking becomes more extreme, until I re-establish my connection with her. If I didn’t know about energetic connection, it would be easy to blame her for her attention-seeking behaviour. With awareness about it, I can consider whether I have been neglecting connecting with her and then fix this, rather than criticise her for simply expressing a very real need.

I believe many problems with children ‘acting out’ arise simply because parents and caregivers don’t know about energetically feeding the children in their care. (In a later blog I will discuss how this is important also for older children and teens, who also need us to connect with, and thus validate, the unique personalities they develop. )

If you find these exercises difficult or if consciously connecting with your child brings up uncomfortable feelings, then it is even more important that you pay attention to this aspect of communication, so that you can heal yourself and then provide this nourishment to your own children. There are many reasons discomfort could be occurring: You may be identified with a self who doesn’t ‘do’ warm and nurturing connection and is more businesslike and impersonal in your relationships with others and so heart-to-heart connection feels alien or even scary. Maybe you have had negative experiences in the past while being energetically in touch with someone else, or as a child you yourself were not ‘met’ energetically by your own caregivers. Sometimes when open and personal energy feels threatening the fear is that you might become overwhelmed and will become enmeshed with your child, losing ‘yourself’.

Whatever the reason, explore it and give yourself some attention. One of the most powerful therapies is to begin to parent yourself in the manner you would have liked to have been parented. That might involve listening to and honouring your fears and concerns, no matter how trivial they might seem to your more competent, adult self. It might mean doing something for your own inner child, such as allowing yourself to eat something you always wanted to as a child, maybe fairy/candy floss or a whole bowl of cake mixture, or sleeping with a favourite teddy bear.

If connecting with your child is no problem for you and you thrive on warm and open connection, consider whether you have the ability to make conscious choices about energetically separating from your child. Possibly you find it difficult to set boundaries and both you and your child become anxious when you leave them alone or leave them at school/child care. Many parents who are often enmeshed with their child find that the only way they can separate is to kind of forcibly yank themselves apart. This is literally painful for both parent and child, and you would benefit from learning how to gently separate energetically, and with comfort establish individual energy fields so that you both can get on with your day feeling whole.

For more…

Take a look at my book Enlightenment Through Motherhood for a down to earth and humourous look at how parents can grow and develop and become better at connecting with their children by actually dealing with the day-to-day challenges of parenting. It also gives you a crash course on Eastern spirituality, explaining chakras, chanting, meditation and so on, and shows you how to get the benefits of such practices through daily family life.

About the author:

Astra NiedraBased in Sydney, Australia, Astra Niedra is a writer and founder of babydialogue.blogspot.com.au, a website dedicated to conscious parenting and conscious relationships. A respected teacher of the relationship and consciousness work Voice Dialogue, Astra offers simple and insightful ways to understand and work within relationships (including the parent child/relationship) that honour each person for who they are, while enabling true freedom for transformation.

Astra is also the author of five books: [1] The Perfect Relationship, [2] Which Self Are You?, [3] The Greatest Relationship Secret, [4] 3 Instant Relationship Fixes and [5] Enlightenment Through Motherhood, all available on Amazon.

You can connect with Astra at:

 


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  • Betty

    Great article! I think that being able to bond with your children is one of the most important things we can do as parents. There is a great book out by Susan Newman, Ph.D titled, “Little Things Long Remembered: Making Your Children Feel Special Every Day” that is, a great parents’ assistant in creating a warm, fun family environment children will recall happily – there are literally hundreds of ideas that parents can use to bond with their children! http://www.susannewmanphd.com/