best transition ever: grandparenting
natalie today show

with Natalie caine

Learning to be present with your children

February 20, 2004 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

By Natalie Caine |

Feel your feet on the ground. Softly look at your children. Breathe, listen,
and feel.  Wait, respond, don’t prejudge what they are saying, don’t complete
their sentences. Be curious, act as if it is the first time they are speaking
with you.

Repeat what they said and wait for their response . Keep your words short and
then pause and wait for their response. As you are taking in their body language,
notice their face, their hands, their feet. You can not spoil them by acknowledging
them.. give real compliments. Share real feelings of the ways you love them.
Tell them what they add to your life, be specific, with examples when you can.
Don’t be phony they will know. Gently touch their shoulder or stroke their hair.
Reach for their hand. Ask questions, but if you notice annoyance by their body
signals, drop it. Apologize often and say thank you often.. let them see ways
that you are human, ways you make mistakes and how you deal with the bad feelings
you have… ways you feel insecure or left out or stupid …

Model how you simply take time to be everyday, for instance,like listening to
music, reading , doing art, staring out a window, going for a walk. Show them
how you give to your friends by calling them, or having surprises for them…
Cook with your kids, sing, dance, ask if they need help. Offer them choices.
Let them fall and pick up their own”mistakes”, don’t “save ”
them, so that you can foster self reliance. Lighten up on chores. Lighten up
on consequences.Teach rather than punish. Prepare them for consequences. Need
a verb here cause and effect rather than fearing you. Build trust… let them
know that trust can be broken. Show unconditional love when the going gets tough.
Cry. Remember they have only been on this planet for a short time and they are
here as a gift to you, so cherish them.

Teach them to stand tall. Teach them words to say by role playing. Don’t assume,
let go of expectations and show them how you can handle chaos, drama, hurt,
pain as a human not a super human. Model being changeable and unpredictable
as well as reliable. Let them see what your comfort zones are. Give them chances
to undo their errors through discovery and listening rather than rules and demands….softness,
calmness, so that anger is real. 

Join conversation

Natalie Caine, M.A.