5 Attachment-Based Activities to Strengthen Parent-Child Relationships

I tried to teach my child with books. He gave me only puzzled looks.

I used clear words to discipline,

But I never seemed to win.

Despairingly, I turned aside.

‘How shall I reach this child?’ I cried.

Into my hand he put the key:

‘Come,’ he said, ‘Play with me.’

Worth Reading – from off the web!

Children who are displaying problematic behaviors such as having difficulty managing their emotions, having aggressive behaviors, or who often act whiny or needy may benefit from attachment-based activities. This is particularly true if the child has experienced challenges during the first few years of life.

Attachment-based activities can also be helpful for children who may have experienced some trauma or even less severe stressful situations.

These activities are even useful for well-behaving, happy children! Attachment-based activities are essential and beneficial for all children and adults as well. If you are a parent and your relationship with your child has been strained for any reason, if you and your child don’t seem to be getting along very well, or if you simply want to strengthen the relationship between you and your child, attachment-based activities can help to do that.

Attachment-based activities are activities that enhance the attachment between the child and parent. Attachment is the bond that children develop with their primary caregivers in the first few years of life. This attachment is extremely important. It,determines how the child relates to others- the nature of their relationships, and how they view themselves and other people and the world for the rest of their lives.

Here They Are:

1. Playful Copycat – or Mirroring the Child

This activity does not necessarily require any physical items or toys. All it takes is having the parent and child both present and ready to interact with each other. The basic idea for this activity is to have the parent playfully copy what the child is doing, such as by having the child begin by clapping his hands together and having the parent clap their hands in the same volume and speed as the child. When the child changes his style of clapping (such as louder or softer), the parent should imitate the child. Eye contact, smiles, and laughs are also helpful to promote a healthy relationship and repair or enhance attachment. Mirroring can also be done with other activities, such as jumping, playing with toys, or facial expressions.

2. Bean Bag Game

Have the child place a bean bag or another soft toy that is fairly easy to balance on top of his head. Have the parent sit in front of the child and place their hands in front of of the child. The child is then directed to tip its head forward to try to get the bean bag in the parent’s hands. The child should tip his head when the parent blinks their eyes. (This will promote eye contact.) Have the parent use as much eye contact as possible. Again, it is important for the parent and child to have fun with this activity. Laughter has been found to be healing and can help to repair and enhance a relationship.

3. Piggy-Back Rides -Fun and Physical , Safe Contact.

Piggy-back rides can help to strengthen parent-child relationships and repair or enhance attachment because they involve fun and physical closeness. When children are babies, they need plenty of physical contact with their parents. Babies thrive not only from being fed and kept physically safe, but also from feeling the comfort and security of having their parent close to them.

4. Lotion Massage

Using lotion to massage a child’s hands or feet can enhance attachment and strengthen a parent-child relationship. The massage can relax a person’s physical body by reducing tension and bringing the brain into a less defensive state.

5. Brushing Hair

Sometimes girls can be fussy about getting their hair brushed, especially if they have experienced pain from well-meaning parents brushing their hair too hard. However, allowing a daughter to gently brush her mother’s hair and having a mother gently brush her daughter’s hair can be an activity that can promote connection. This can be a calming activity that includes a sense of nurturing which connects to a person’s internal experience of attachment and bonding.

You don’t need kids for these bonding activities! Try some of these with a friend, loved one, or lover! Have fun!

Source: 5 Attachment-Based Activities to Strengthen Parent-Child Relationships

Letting Go Of the Past to Appreciate the Present

Suffering doesn’t make us grow –

but what we do with our feelings could make us grow. ⚡️💡

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It’s an interesting saying though. Where did it come from?  Perhaps it’s because anguish and acute awareness sometimes occur near one another, in time and space.

For me, however, what makes us grow is understanding our feelings, questioning the thoughts behind them, seeing the cause-and-effect of it all, and mindfully letting go.

If we utilize this information the next time these feelings arise (anger, sadness, depression, confusion, fear), we can remember the awareness, the ‘aha’ moment, or insight we discovered before. We can  notice that what we are experiencing in the here and now is separate from the past, and know that our reactions don’t really apply in the current situation. Awareness sets us free to respond differently.

contemplation

Uncomfortable feelings are nearly always preceded by a stressful thought, and when the feelings come, we can isolate the stressful thought, idea, or assumption and question it thoroughly.

I find journaling a powerful aid here. Just write your rambling thoughts about a situation that made you uncomfortable (in your mind or in reality – doesn’t matter). Then let it set. You probably will already feel better because the act of writing is cathartic. But for true growth to occur, go back later and read what you wrote. Pretend you are a scientist!  Your job is to (compassionately) dissect your writing to find the threads of connection…

Try asking these questions:

1. Have I ever felt this way before? Are there any other similarities?

Personal example:   I had to  go to my son’s junior high school to deliver his medicine.   I noticed I had a racing heart, a sense of urgency to complete the task, and an overall sense of shame and dread.

It made no sense in my logical mind.

 Have I ever felt this way before? Are there any other similarities? 

Junior high was very scary for me. I was picked on by other girls and I was even beaten up a number of times. The threats often occurred when students were moving from one class to their next, so I was especially scared when that bell rang!

2.  What were the beliefs / thoughts around the event? 

Awareness: my heart is racing; I have a sense of urgency and intense fear.

THOUGHTS:  I Visualize being attacked. “If I can become unnoticeable, I might make it… Hopefully the bell won’t ring!”

Once we gently meet our past with understanding, we can separate those experiences and respond to the present authentically.

By listening, compassionately, to your own mistaken, innocent mind, you can become free… from this,  then that,  then…