Friday, February 6, 2015

Make Time for 9!

Make Time for 9!

When I teach parenting workshops, parents tend to really love this information. Again, the point is to help things go right. If you are familiar with the previous post on the Parenting Pyramid, you can see that this concept aims at strengthening the bottom level of the pyramid - the CONNECTION between parents and children.
Let’s take a look at each of these 9’s.
  • First, research shows that children need 8-12 (9)meaningful (safe) touches every day to feel connected to a parent. These can be as simple as a pat on the back, a fist bump, a hug, or even playful wrestling with a child. If a child is going through a tough time, they could use even more meaningful touches. We are wired to connect with each other and meaningful touch helps with attachment, trust, healing, and health. For example, in one research study preterm newborns who received just three 15-minute sessions of touch therapy each day for 5-10 days gained 47 percent more weight than premature infants who only received standard medical treatment!

  • 9 minutes that matter – the first 3 minutes after children wake up; the first 3 minutes after coming home from school, child care, etc.; the last 3 minutes of the day – before they go to bed (reading, song, snuggle, words, calm). If parents work during these times, make the first and last minutes with the child count. Make those moments special and help children feel loved. These moments can be easily rushed by parents who are busy, running late, tired, or distracted. Children of all ages need parents to slow down, look them in the eyes, and talk with them or ask questions. But they are important moments for children and they often reach out for connection during these 9 minutes.
For example, I love to spend a few minutes snuggling in my 9 year old daughter’s bed the first thing in the morning. It sets the tone for the day and instead of yelling and rushing her to get up, I try to enjoy the first few minutes of the day with her.

  •  9 minutes of conversation – depending on age, children need at least 9 total minutes of “face time” with a parent (eye-to-eye). It may be 9 minutes straight, or a minute here and there. Infants especially need to look into their parents’ eyes and connect so attachments can be strengthened. It is important for parents to understand that even babies need to be talked to – it doesn’t matter what we say. Teenagers also need a good 9 minutes of interaction with a parent, to keep the lines of communication open.

Creating meaningful connections doesn’t take big chunks of time. It’s often the small and simple things that build strong connections over time.

1 comment :

  1. 40 or so years ago I read Contact: The first Four Minutes. What I recall is that the first four minutes you meet someone determines whether the relationship will jell and that for couples the first 2 minutes in the morning and the first two minutes when you come home from work are critical to the relationship.