Happy almost New Year, Chosen Family! Today on Coffee with Chosen, Staci asks us to resolve to connect this coming year.
Resolve to Connect
Good Morning and Welcome to Coffee with Chosen. My name is Staci.
Happy almost New Year! On this, the last day of the year, you are VERY likely looking forward to a new beginning. I sure am! I actually love New Year’s Eve, when I reflect on the good and the bad, sometimes even ugly, and I look forward to what need tweaking, reducing or even downright changing in the coming year. A lot of people cringe at setting goals and resolutions. Not me – I love it!
However, for me, setting goals and New Year’s Resolutions are way more fun than actually KEEPING them. Over the last 365 days, did I declutter the house like I resolved to do? Nope. Did I plant flowers like I said I was going to do on January 1st. Sort of. Did I get consistent with doing yoga this past year. Definitely not!
All this week you’ve been hearing and reading encouragements to set New Year’s Resolutions. From consistent exercise to losing weight to reading more books – the choices are endless. Well, today, I’m going to encourage you to resolve to do something a little different. I’m asking you to resolve to connect in this coming year. I’m also asking you to put it at the very TOP of your resolution list.
Scientific research has proven that children who have experienced hard things such as abuse, neglect, grief and loss suffer significant impacts to their brains. Research also shows that those impacts to the brain can be healed. The brain is plastic and it’s made and ready to repair! Can we, as foster and adoptive parents, do anything to help those little brains heal? Absolutely! That’s where connecting comes into play. The brains of children heal when they connect to adults. This is why it is crucial to work on attachment with our hurting children.
So what does it even mean to connect with a child? It can mean a lot of things, but I like to think of it as joining together in such a way that you have access to each other with feelings and emotions. When child and parent are connected, a child feels safe to share feelings, emotions, and thoughts. Connected kids ask for help and receive the help that you as the parent want to give.
How exactly do we make sure we are creating homes where this happens? There are countless ways to work on connection, and those ways are dependent upon how you are wired, how your children are wired, and the histories that all of you are bringing into the relationship. But the ONE thing that you need to do in your resolution to connect with your children is INTENTION. We have to be intentional to make connections. We can’t wait for it to just happen. Put your phone down and be present with your kids. Plan activities that will promote togetherness, even if that means children are helping you cook dinner or clean the house. Do your child’s toys need to be picked up? Do it together. Do you need to get some exercise? Take your child on a walk with you. Need to run errands? Hand your kiddo the list and have him decide where you are going to go first, second and third.
Dr. Jody Carrington, a psychologist, says this: “Every time you think of calling a kid “attention seeking” this year, consider changing it to “connection-seeking” and see how your perspective changes.” What if this resolution was at the top of our list for this next year? What if we committed to making this new year the year to connect with our children? Our children with hard histories would start to heal, and when that happens, time of connection becomes more frequent and easier for us as parents to do.