One of the best ways to help our children who come from hard places learn to trust and bond with us is through connected parenting. The Empowered to Connect Conference brings to light many techniques and suggestions to do just that. One of those ideas is a thousand “yes’s.” When you have a biological child you spend a lot of time that first year or two: holding, feeding, snuggling and looking into the eyes of that baby telling them how much you love them and how precious they are to you. The infant we had since birth was told yes over and over. Every time they cried, we changed them, fed them, cuddled, rocked or snuggled them. A child from hard places may not have had that precious time.
So how do we build that trust with a child who did not have a thousand yes’s? A child who did not know we would move heaven and earth to meet their every need — say “yes” as often as you can. Be intentional. Every time you think about saying “no”, ask yourself, “can I give my child a yes instead?” Many times we say “no” out of convenience, selfishness or we did not even really think about or consider saying “yes.” The more “yes’s” I can give my child, the better my child will respond, and the more able we are to connect. We cannot always give “yes’s” but the more often we do the easier it seems they can accept the “no.” An example of saying “yes” when you would typically say “no” might be when your child reaches for a snack 10 minutes before dinner, instead of saying “no”, try saying, “let’s put that next to your plate and you can have it once you have finished your supper.” That “yes” meets her need as well as yours. She gets her need met and you get one more deposit in your trust account.
By Sherie Madewell-Buesgens, LBSW