Understanding the great impact connecting with each other has on our lives has been a light bulb event in my life. We tend to live our lives next to each other rather than with each other. Being really present becomes more and more of a challenge as things like technology competes for our attention with all the fun and interesting things it dangles in front of us. Intention quickly slips into an excuse of why we don’t go through with our planned actions. I always promised myself that I would not raise my children in front of a television screen. Guess what, when trying to get ready for work, get their bags and lunch boxes sorted and you have two children under 3 vying for your attention, the television screen suddenly looks like a wonderful babysitter.

 

Fast forward a few years later and now my kids are hooked to the tv screen. I struggle to make eye contact with them and they barely hear me when I talk to them. I can think of a hundred excuses why I did what I had to do. But did I really? Was I present when I made those choices?

Fortunately for me, my children are still young and I have the opportunity to set the right foundation. So I set off to find out what the best building blocks would be to raise balanced, strong and independent human beings that will make a difference in the world. The answer was so simple – connection.

 

From the moment a baby is born, all they want is connection. Every action they take, every move and every sound is so that you will connect with them. As they go into the toddler years, every tantrum is their immature attempt to connect with you, get your attention fixed on them. In the teenage years, which is a repeat of the toddler years, they act out and rebel because they didn’t get the connection with you before.

 

If we can let go of that ever constant need for acceptance and approval in the eyes of others, we can raise children that live lives where they are proud of themselves instead of wanting to please others. If we can raise them with respect rather than fear of the consequence they will be able to regulate themselves instead of only being able to perform when there is a consequence from someone else.

Think about what you want to achieve in raising your child. Be present while you are raising them, through the ups and the downs. Take the journey with them. Get down on their level and give them the tools to take on this life rather than holding them to these incredibly high standards that we ourselves cannot achieve.

Go out and connect so that they will connect and together we create a society that is based on kindness, dignity and respect that will create a better world for all.