This is a special episode as we recorded live on Blab.im. It allows us to be seen on video while guests are able to interact live with us by chatting. This episode is all about connecting.
Everyone, especially children, want to feel connected. When they don’t feel connected at home, school, or within the community, they will find connection through bad behavior including sex, drugs, gangs, etc. This is why kids engage in this kind of behavior is that they want to feel connected. Jason mentions having dinner together and how doing that 3 times a week or more can reduce alcohol and drug use by half. It’s not just about the meal but it provides a time to talk and find out about their day or what they are doing.
One of the most important things to learn is empathy. Having empathy for your children allows them to feel understood and therefore connected. We cover more on empathy in Episode 18.
We then discuss a Huffington Post Article written by Author/Speaker which offers 5 ways to connect:
1) Ask them questions about their life – most parents have no clue what is going on – If they don’t want to talk, it may mean they feel disconnected
2) Hug, touch, or sit near them – We all need touch and kids really like it
3) Figure out what they like and learn about it – Showing an interest in what they do or like makes them feel connected
4) Have technology-free times and places – If you are on the phone or computer you may as well not even be there
5) Play and do activities with them – not everyone likes to talk. Whether its a game, sport, and craft, kids all have something they like.
We then talk about GEMS (Genuine Encounter Moments). Here is how you do a GEM:
1. Remove anything from distracting you
2. Interact at child’s eye level
3. Make friendly eye contact
4. Lovingly touch
5. Give 100% focused attention
6. Follow their lead
7. Respond from the heart, not the head
If you can’t do it, acknowledge the child then give them a time when you can give them your attention. We finish off the episode with Jason sharing some more personal experiences of his recent interactions with his own kids.