Claiming the lead role with children

I’ve been really busy lately but I haven’t forgotten I have a blog!  Here’s a post I wrote a month ago but didn’t get around to putting up.  I think it’s an important message, and an example of how the little adjustments we make as parents can be very powerful. 

Tonight my ds4 came over to hug me when I was sitting at the computer.  As soon as I felt his arms start to go around my waist, I stopped what I was doing and gave him a huge hug.  And then gave him a few silly hugs and tickles with a lot of enthusiasm.

When a child comes looking for a parent’s time or affection, they’re telling you they need something.  When a child expresses the need for your love in whatever form, try to give it to them right then if you can.  It doesn’t have to take more than a minute or two, but try to make yourself available and be responsive when they approach you. 

However, there’s a way to maximize the love that a child feels when you respond to him.  Let’s say a child asks you for something to eat and you give it to him pleasantly.  (This is assuming that you feel that him eating something at that moment is a good idea.)  That’s nice, right?  But once he’s asking, he’s already initiated and you are only responding, which puts you in the passive role.  While it is much more powerful for your child when you are the one who initiates the love interaction, you can supercharge an interaction that your child has initiated by giving them more than what they are asking for.  This restores you to the position of leader in the interaction, which is important in building a child’s feeling of security with you. 

When the child feels like he’s getting more than he was asking for and you have claimed your power as a parent to lead, it leaves him feeling very loved and secure.  As a parent, you want to be the one constantly initiating the love interactions between you and your child.  A critical part of being the authority in your home is what I refer to in my classes as being the leader – learn to take the lead in your relationship with your children, even in interactions that your children initiate.


5 thoughts on “Claiming the lead role with children

    1. Ellbrbee, since I think you’re a blog reader of my dd16, I’m assuming your mother accidentally commented under your account when asking this. Is that right?

      Will try to share more examples.

  1. Avivah – you’re awesome. I needed this advice. My DH needed this advice. Our evening went smoothly and happy children were put to bed because we both took the time to read this and go, “oh yeah!!”. It’s been a rough couple of weeks. Thanks for your efforts in helping to re-ground us. :)

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