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Better Connection Starts With 15 Minutes… even in blended families!

The dynamics in families can feel complex and overwhelming! And that can be intensified in blended families.


Two essential parenting skills, consistency, and predictability work together in this powerful attachment-based strategy to nurture loving connection and restore peace at home. 


I call it “plug-in time”. One client called it “special time”. Another - “hang out time”. It empowers you to be your best parenting tool. 


And it’s why my son was able to come out to me after Pizza.


It was 15 years ago, like yesterday. My 19 year old and I have just walked the three blocks back from our weekly pizza date at Rosa’s. We pause in front of the brick stoop of our Queens apartment and he says, “This is hard to tell you, but I know you’d want to know.” (Miraculous words) And then he comes out to me as best he understands himself. From that moment, he includes me in his process and I remain included in his life to this day.


Would you be surprised to know that 6 months earlier, he barely talked to me? He spent most of his time in his room and was a brick wall when I’d try to get through to him. 


I had struggled since he was in third grade as a single parent with his confusing and oppositional behavior, and then when he was about 15 a new step dad joined our family and things with my child got progressively worse. 

 

By the time he was 19, I was on the brink of losing my relationship with him. 


Through a friend at the time, (an angel, I think) I came to understand that his behaviors were an SOS not an attack. They were his language to communicate the turmoil inside him. A lightbulb went off in my head and as I looked at him, suddenly my defended heart opened. 


I began to build a bridge back to loving connection with him…


It started with 15 minutes of joining him on the couch at night after he emerged from his room. I awkwardly focused on breathing and being calm, and was imperfectly present with him while he was on his computer and watching TV. Then I did it again the next night and the next.


Consistently, predictably night after night, we slowly softened into attunement. He allowed me to rub his feet (something I had done when he was little) and began to talk to me. I began to change my own reactive patterns of taking his behavior personally. Hope replaced fear and helplessness. 


Special time grew to include weekly pizza dates, (which continued even after he had moved out!) I practiced zipping my lips and he told me things about his life that I would’ve never known if I hadn’t made that space. It was amazing! 

 


Here's today's Quick Tip for a Quick Win with parenting...

>> Connection always matters

more than perfection! <<

 


The first step to nurturing more loving connection with your child or teen is to use the essential parenting skills of predictability and consistency to create a special time. This is 10-15 minutes where you are regularly available to just BE with your child. See what happens…



(I invite you to click the image below to watch a 4 minute video excerpt where I work with a couple to create a customized plug-in time that works for their family.)



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