Leanne Tran Psychology

Leanne Tran Psychology

As psychologists, we often say that kids need connection before correction. That means parents need to connect with them before they can start the process of trying to change behaviour (the correction part). And it’s true – that connection with us is what gives the context (or reason) for kids to listen to us and take our advice.

As parents, it’s our job to be the wiser, kinder person in the relationship. If we want the relationship to improve – it’s on us to make changes to get it there. In the following pages there are some key things you can do to encourage the relationship with your kids to get back on track. are some key things you can do to encourage the relationship with your kids to get back on track.

This process is all about connecting – there is no other goal with it. You’re not trying to get your child to DO anything, you want to build the relationship just for the sake of the relationship itself. We call it collecting your child’ – and it boils down to letting your child know they’re seen and loved. 

How to “Collect” your child:

  1. Get their attention (by calling their name or touching them lightly)
  2. Look them in the eye
  3. Smile and nod
  4. Say something nice
  5. Cuddles
  6. A tousle of the hair, squeeze of the arm or pat on the shoulder
  7. Comment on what they’ve been doing
  8. Ask about an interest

The aim is to get your child to look at you, smile, and if possible get a nod back.

When to “Collect” your child:

  • After any separation there’s an opportunity. The more the better while you’re creating the habit!
  • Them coming home from school
  • You coming home from work
  • When they wake up in the morning (after sleep separates you)
  • After they’ve been preoccupied with something like tv or computer games
  • After they’ve been outside and come back inside
  • After they’ve been playing or reading
  • After they’ve finished their homework
  • When you come home from grocery shopping, or the gym
  • After they’ve been at a coparent’s house
  • After emotional separation like a fight or argument

As our kids get older, they seem more independent and we can think that they don’t need us to do this. That’s not correct! Because they aren’t taking the initiative, it’s even more important that WE do it! And do it with enthusiasm!  Build these “collection” routines into daily family life. You’ll eventually be so good at it, and have such a habit that you’ll do it automatically.

This strategy are designed to explain just how to go about bringing your child close and fostering a healthy positive relationship with them. A healthy relationship with your child is the foundation for everything – teaching them, developing their skills and managing their behaviour.