Today’s parents are long on love and short on time. They want to connect with their children, but don’t know how to make that connection.
Last Thursday bestselling author, creative parenting expert, and motivational speaker Nikki Bush showed parents in an interactive workshop at Mitchell House just how to make that connection in a fun way.
Bush, who has a regular slot on the Redi Hlabi radio show on 702, explained during her Parenting on the Run workshop that children are constantly asking three non-verbal questions: do you see me, do you hear me, and am I important to you?
“Your children live in a very visual world. To tell them that they are important to you is not enough. You have to show your child that you care by creating moments in which you connect,” she explained.
The problem is that parents don’t always have the time to spend with their children. Due to technology, work and socialising is brought into the family circle.
Bush had only one solution to address this problem: switch off.
“Don’t miss out on a precious moment with your child because your phone is ringing and you need to answer it,” she warned.
She talked about attention seeking strategies and how every person has one or two that they use when needed, even adults. A child that craves attention will resort to bad behaviour to get attention, even if it is negative attention, she explained.
Bush showed the parents at the seminar how to have fun in the car, at home, and doing chores by being creative. She shared a few game ideas that are not only fun to play, but also develop the child’s cognitive and physical development.
She also warned against hurried bed times. “How often do you go through the whole bed time routine and just as you are sneaking out of the room, you hear a little voice calling your name? This is the ideal time to connect with your child. Stick to the routine, but be flexible enough to make time to listen,” she said.
Bush said children are natural philosophers, but don’t know how to express their questions. “At night in their rooms, when it is quiet and dark and they feel safe with you, they will talk to you about everything that has been bothering them during the day.”
She ended her workshop by emphasising that parenting is not about perfection, it is about connection.