How to Connect With Your Kids

I highly recommend this  Howard Glasser book if you’re going through any rough spots with your kids: All Children Flourishing–Igniting the Greatness of our Children.

A friend turned me on to it after some recent challenges, and man, does it rock.  We’re just begun to implement his suggestions and have already seen some major shifts around here.

So what’s his schtick? Basically, Glasser talks about how kids will connect with us in any way they can, even if the only way they can do that is to get out of us is a rise (or piss us off) by acting out or doing something naughty. So he turns the game on its head by refusing to buy into that negative “difficult” child kind of energy.  Instead, he helps us see how giving our children specific, positive feedback nourishes children’s souls instead of crushing them.

The old model–punishing them or constantly putting them in time-outs–doesn’t work anyway.  So what do we have to lose?  And it’s an easy win, I have to tell you, one we accomplish by letting our children know that we see and appreciate them for who they are, instead of for the “bad kid” we once believed them to be.

In this way, we get to connect with our kids in a magical, new way.  His approach reminds us of how special and unique our children really are–how special we all are, really.  And since we’re no longer feeding into the misbehavior and the associated negative traits, they begin to disappear. 

Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? It is, as long as you’re willing to take those few extra seconds to really connect with your child.  But man, alive, is it worth it.

So worth it, in fact, that the friend who recommended this book to me even uses it at her job–to great success.  Which of course makes me think we could use this approach with our spouses as well.  Not to mention friends, neighbors, coworkers, strangers, the UPS driver, etc.

By the way, there’s even a special version of this book geared toward educators.  If you’re a teacher, please please do me a favor and check out this book. I think it could just change your life.  Not to mention the lives of all the kids you impact, particularly those who’ve long been considered “difficult.”





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3 Responses to How to Connect With Your Kids

  1. betsy January 6, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    I cannot get over how much this book has changed my world in the last few weeks. The kids are happier, helpful and more content, and I feel like I’m connecting with them in more authentic, loving, meaningful ways than I have in months. I truly “see” them for their unique wonderful little people they are many times throughout the day. I don’t catch every moment, but I am much more aware of the many amazing moments that occur every day in our family. For months I had been so discouraged that my job as a mom had become a constant negotiator, referee, disciplinarian, morals and manners monitor, sleep enforcer, constantly trying to stay a step ahead but feeling like I was falling farther and farther behind. Despite a lot of love, there was a lot more stress and tension than I ever thought we would have this early on in our family life. And I knew I couldn’t really blame it all on the kids. I knew there were (many) aspects I needed to change – to slow down, to simplify, to not lose my temper, to exercise, to feed my kids better food, to have them sleep better, to you-name-it there must be something that will help. Well, it’s this book. Simple. You read this book and it seems really obvious. This book is not about hyper-praise for your kid (which is not my style of parenting at all), it’s about showing them respect and acknowledgement for the unique person they are (turns out this style of parenting I really get). Anyway, thanks T. for sharing this. I owe you…big time.

    • tpajevic January 11, 2012 at 11:12 pm #

      Thanks, Betsy–this made my day. I’ve fallen off the wagon over the holidays and your comment was just what I needed to get back on track. Just like you said, it’s so simple and it really does make such a huge difference.

      I’ve been noticing how easily I fall off track when I’m exhausted, sleep-deprived or otherwise overextended. All the more reason for me to put on my own oxygen mask first. Because this year, sister, I’m really looking forward to seeing my entire family thrive!


  1. How to Connect with Your Kids, part 2 | Reboot This Marriage - March 20, 2012

    […] here if you’d like to read part 1 of How to Connect with Your Kids and learn how the simple act of giving your child specific, positive feedback can change your […]

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