Would you believe that…
…even a 5-minute talk can be so powerful that your child will feel she’s received attention in such a short period of time?
If you know how to communicate – and I’m talking effective communication here – your child will feel acknowledged even if you can’t spend hours with her each day.
Is this some magical parenting trick?
No. And it will take effort on your end.
So, how do you make a child feel heard despite a busy schedule?
By consciously transferring positive energy (or the “transfer method”)
Tell me this…
Have you ever said, “Yes, honey, that’s a real nice picture you drew there!” without even lifting your head from making dinner?
What about having said…
“Yes, yes we will play tea-time when I’m done working!” hurriedly while continuing to type on the computer?
If so, you’re not alone. Many other moms have been parenting without being present, making children feel “unheard.”
But more importantly, by doing the examples above, you don’t transfer any positive energy at all.
Now, wouldn’t it be great if there were more hours in a day? Between securing a future (work), other responsibilities and parenting, there’s just so little time.
Which is why focusing on quality time instead of quantity becomes crucial – not only because it’s all you can give at the moment, but because the kind of attention a child receives affects her emotional development.
Effective communication through transferring positive energy
Before getting into the steps, answer this first:
Which group of people would you rather continue to share stories with in a party?
Group A – Those who maintain eye contact and mirror expressions you make – shock, joy, embarrassment – as you recount your adventure in France? Or…
Group B – Those glued to their cell phones and utter “Uh huh,” in an emotionless manner whenever you take short pauses from story-telling?
I’ll bet all the chocolate in the world you’d prefer Group A.
And here’s why: They are engaged.
They find what you have to say interesting and it shows because their full attention is on you, so much so that they even mimic your expressions.
The best part is that you and Group A bounce positive energy off from each other, unlike Group B who is giving you nothing but disinterested energy. What a downer!
Wouldn’t you want to be Group A to your child?
Here’s how to transfer positive energy to make your child feel love and heard:
1. Eye contact. If your child wants to talk to you, drop what you’re doing and look at her eyes. Pretend only the two of you exist, then listen intently to what she says.
2. Reflect the same energy she has or create a more positive one. While your child is excitedly explaining her drawing of a flying cat, express interest by mirroring her excitement. Smile back and be as enthusiastic as she is!
However, if she’s projecting low energy because she tripped and hurt herself for example, then do this:
Mirror her pain by pouting or making a sad face and saying that you know it must hurt, then immediately change your energy to a positive one by letting her know the pain will subside, and she’ll be alright.
(If you’re communicating through the phone, ensure your voice reflects emotions you want to it to convey.)
That’s it! Very simple.
But what if you have to finish something first before playing with your child?
Here’s where making her feel heard and acknowledged in 5 minutes is possible.
If you’re busy and have to finish something before attending to her, keep the steps above in mind while saying this:
“Mommy wants to take a look at your drawing, but I also need to finish something for work. (Pout) Can you give me 30 more minutes first? And when I’m done, I’ll rush to you right away! (Be excited)
Even if you can’t immediately play or talk with your child, she’ll still feel your high engagement level because of how you deliver the message.
Think of a child like an empty glass
When you pour clean water (positive energy) she gets filled with it. When you pour dirty water (negative energy), she too gets filled with it. Choose wisely.
Ready for your challenge? Try this today and observe how you and your child respond to the transfer method. Then come back and let me know if it worked for you in the comments section.