Monday, February 18, 2013

Empowered To Connect Part 2- Connection First

 This was the part of our Valentine's Day :).  We went to visit my GG who lives close by. 
 It was good to see her and think of fun things to say to get her to laugh! 
 The kids had done cards of course and we pretty much just play.....notice the "swinging Michael".....he was giggling and we all were laughing. 
 Even my GG.......
 She doesn't get to get up and move around often now.  How much more important for us as a family to surround her with as much love as we can? 
 I won't lie- it gets a little crazy with 9 kiddos in that small room, but keeps the nurses on their toes, and to be honest they like it. 
Our girls sure brightened up the day of grandma's new roommate!  :)

So I have a lot of posts in my head swirling around and I am trying to put them in some kind of order so I can share effectively with you.

I wanted today to write something that was KEY to my understanding of what Karen Purvis was saying.  CONNECTION!  In my years as parenting I have thought of connection with my children this way- playing games, going on walks, table talk, having "dates" with different kids when we can, watching a fun family film with them, spoiling them when you can and when appropriate.  I think that is a pretty good list, and I am sure Karen would likely agree.

The thing I would say I did not understand fully is the need to connect while doing discipline.  Pretty much I am more authoritative in my style of correction.  You know sometimes I find myself saying- umm...I am right, you are wrong, get over yourself.  Now if you are in shock, pick yourself back up off the floor.  I am not mean, but I don't mess around either.  Can I have fun? Sure!  Do I?  YES!  However, in the day to day I expect my kids to listen up and obey end of story!  Right?  I mean my job is to make sure my children listen and obey so that they follow the guideline on in faith to listen and obey.

So reading the book "The Connected Child" by Karen Purvis I thought- what is the connection thing?  How does that look.  What I found in the conference surprised me.  It really has an easy basis- You ask to have your child's hands and eyes.  Really creepy huh?  ;)  Then you speak to them in a low slow voice.

First off if you tend to yell....maybe not even on purpose, but hey' you do.  This will completely help you in that area!  For real.  I don't yell as in scream at my kids all the time or anything, but you know they are upstairs and I want them to come because we are starting school then you raise your voice pretty easy huh?  Yep me too.

So taking time to get on their  level, asking for their hands, and please give me eyes is pretty awesome!  Pretty simple and lots of parenting books I have read have said something about this- closer and quieter is what we called it at school when I was a teacher.  Easy, everyone can do it, and you know what I found my blood pressure going down.  If getting hands and eyes is the first thing I do when correcting then I don't have to yell, don't have to get more upset because looking into their beautiful eyes reminds me of the gift I have!

Matthew 6:21-23  New International Version (NIV) 

21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[a] your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[b] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

You know what else you are doing when you are asking for hands and eyes?  You are saying I want to touch you.  I want to look into your eyes and see you.  Not just see you from a distance, but really see you.  Praise God!  Isn't that what we want to happen in our relationship with God?  We want to hold His Hands, gaze into His Eyes and be touched and seen.......really seen for who we are- beautifully and wonderfully made. 

 For me......this is where I started to really sit up and take notice!  I thought- HA!  I can do this, and it isn't so strange after all.  It can really be helpful.  Pretty sure this will change my temperament as well as my child's, and it will definitely connect me in a way that we have not experienced before!

So.....there is your first tidbit.  I will keep adding more so if you want more information right now on all of this Empowered To Connect- go to their website and look at all the videos they have.  Most are a few minutes long and worth watching!  :)     

Empowered To Connect Part 1
Empowered To Connect Part 3
Empowered To Connect Part 4
Empowered To Connect Part 5


  1. I try to do 5-year-old will squirm and wiggle and run away sounds so easy...but can be so hard! :-) But, I do keep trying...

    1. I would say that is a start!!! Sometimes we will not be able to do all, the best, all the time! I know I won't, but I can use tools to try my best. Remember we are flawed, but given grace!!:)

  2. Dawn,
    My own two cents will worth what they worth.

    What I wish to question is the obey at all costs. After all, do we want to teach children to obey at all costs even when it means doing harm (like what Hitler did on WW2), or do we want to teach children moral values of trust and kindness ?

    If we look at the meaning of discipline, it means "teach and train". So, I doubt that obey at all costs teaches and trains.

    I know that we may not have the same opinions.

    For me, connecting while giving discipline is much more than teaching to obey.
    If I answer "discipline = teaching to obey", it reduces discipline as only obeying to an authority (call it God, call it Mahomet, call it Yahvé, call it the police, whatever you want, it's not the central matter here).

    For me, giving discipline means giving a child the keys to be a trusting and kind being.
    Obey is only a small part of it. We cannot reduce the matter with this verb.
    And in some situations, you must disobey to survive, or to be the trustful and kind person : you would not obey to a boss who asks you to fraud the company's accounts, would you ?.

    You don't obey to your parents to obey to your parents. You don't obey to the law to obey to the law.
    You obey to the law because the law makes living with people possible. You obey to the Road Code because you don't want to hurt someone while you're driving.

    Another perspective, yes. Just food for thoughts.

    1. Actually, that is a good point. The whole point of this is not to just make the child obey. It is to actually build a connection- so as in my walk with Christ I WANT TO OBEY! There is a lot more to it......I am giving bits and pieces at a don't make conclusions on that. It will get very confusing.

      It is a part of the whole thing- including many physical needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, brain development, etc.

      I believe obeying is important, but not just for the sake of obeying it has to go deeper into the heart otherwise we are creating a robot that will eventually "break routine" and explode. It has to be built on trust.......but that trust has to be built. As in the above post- one step to building trust is to hold hands get eye contact! ONE WAY to get trust- there are many many many others.

      Giulia - have you read the book or gone to a conference about this?

    2. I couldn't go to the conference because I live on the other part of the Atlantic Ocean.
      And I've read a similar book (the title was in French, and translating it is very tricky).

      I didn't conclude anything. I was just asking because from the whole puzzle you provided, this point came in particular as a question for me.
      And I include myself in the pronoun "we". So it's not "the parents and me", but the parents and non-parents, childless or of large families. The society as a whole, parents, teachers, doctors, psychologists, social workers, and even the lay person in the street. Therefore, I include myself in the "we".

      I was also thinking about another book I read and helped me a great deal with connecting with my explosive father and his explosive son. I am an explosive myself.
      The book in itself has nothing to do with building a connexion, but it has this beneficial side effect for everyone.
      It's "The Explosive Child" from Ross Greene. Mainly, its method is first, prioritizing and then, making himself obey by finding a mutual solution to solve the issue. Sounds crazy to think about finding a solution with the child for disobeying but actually, the whole family benefited and we don't have many explosions.
      We first, check if the expectation is realistic with this person, in this moment. We eliminated a lot of drained energy by putting on less requests. Then, we keep the aim in sight, but we all realized that we can get it by different roads, without necessarily being wrong roads.
      When you talked about the conference you assisted, the book I am talking to you about crossed my mind.
      I realized then that they have a same aim, but taken from a different perspective.

      My question was coming by the fact that we have the same aim, but we start from a different perspective.

      I hope I clarified my ideas.

      I also notice that we say the same thing but from different perspectives. I don't know if what I say makes sense for you.