Why try to connect?
I just launched a new online parenting group, called Connect with Courage. That also happens to be the name of my almost-published book.
I feel like I need to spend a minute explaining why I think it's so important to spend time working on those connections, and why it takes courage.
So let's start with the fact that your children have interests, and those interests have value. All of them. Yes, even that one. Even that one too. That one that you can't stand, has too many little expensive parts, or occupies their attention so much they ignore you when you say it's time for dinner. They all have value.
Two reasons -- they have value on their own (even watching that same reality show for the 50th time has value, I promise) and they have value *because* your kid chooses to do that thing.
When your kid loves something, and their important adult says/indicates that, "your interest has no value/is worthless/isn't worth the time you spend" - they can't help but internalize that what you mean is, "you love that thing therefore you must be wrong for loving something with no value." It makes children question their judgement, it makes them feel wrong or bad, and it puts a wall up between you and your kid.
The opposite is true as well. When you show you value their interest, they feel trusted and learn to trust themselves. They get benefits from that activity, they can share their triumphs and trials with you, and it provides a foundation for communication, problem solving, and deepens your relationship.
I assume if you're reading this you adore your child and want to nothing but the best for them, but sometimes it's hard to support them in their choices. We often use inadvertently dismissive language, cut them off from their interests by limiting resources, or can't spend a lot of time focused on them due to other needs (like other kids or work). Sometimes we have leftover messaging from our childhoods that is hard to shake - that voice in our head that tells us to be afraid of what they are interested in, worry about what the in-laws will say, fear
that they won't learn skills to help them be successful as an adult.
I've worked one-on-one with parents for decades helping them process these exact difficulties, and now I'm bringing what I've learned to an online group. This group is designed to be like a dynamic workbook, where you will get prompts and exercises and a supportive environment to process. Each week in my group you will receive a worksheet on a relevant theme and several prompts to look both at your past, and also at your present.
My goal is to help parents build bridges, not walls. To help you see their strengths, not focus on weaknesses. To fine-tune that dance that is engaged, effective parenting.
The group is $28/month with a 1 time enrollment fee of $36. It's good for parents of kids of all ages, and you can jump in anytime. See you soon. <3