How to Connect with Your Child at Any Age

Depending on your personality make-up or how you were parented, attempts to connect with your child may not come naturally for you. Depending on your default parenting style, you may not be comfortable being on the same “level” as your kids. It’s important to explore any barriers to connecting with your kids. Some find parent counseling helpful to break old habits and explore new ways of relating.

Once you have addressed any of these barriers, you may be wondering how you can really connect with your kids. It’s essential at every stage of development. Here are just a few suggestions. Please feel free to add more in the comments.

Ways to connect with a new baby

For many parents, this is the easiest stage to connect with your child. Babies desperately need you for quite literally everything and the intense connection between parent and child is neurobiologically driven. You cannot hold a baby too much. You cannot spoil them with love and attention. But don’t feel guilty if you have attended to every need and they still cry. Make sure they are safe, do what you can to comfort them, but know that some babies need to cry to settle themselves. Just like a good cry can make us feel better sometimes.

If, for some reason, you are struggling to connect with your baby, don’t wait to get help. It isn’t your fault. Hormones wreak havoc in the weeks (and sometimes months) post delivery. There is support available.

Ways to connect with a toddler

This is a challenging stage where your child is transitioning from complete dependency to greater independence. It can lead to a tug of war over control and autonomy. This is a foundational stage in your child’s development when brain maturation is rapid so investment in connection at this stage is critical.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for treatment from a qualified mental health professional. Cornerstones for Parents is not liable for any advice, tips, techniques, and recommendations the reader chooses to implement.

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