"So I say, thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing..." ABBA, 1977.
Something that I've passed on to my daughter is my love of music and how I connect to songs all the time. So, can you imagine the amazing feeling I felt when she came home from school to tell me that her choir director "listened" to her idea of a song for their Spring Concert. She proceeded to tell me that at first, her teacher wasn't really paying attention, so she thought, but then she saw tears welling up in her teacher's eyes when she heard the lyrics. She told my daughter how beautiful this song was and not only would they be singing it at their concert, but that they would be singing it as their FINALE! This brought so much joy to my daughter.
Step 2 in Powerful Interactions is to Connect. Connecting means observing what the child is doing, the things they say and think. It's about allowing the child to know that what they say and do is important and you want to spend more time with them. Because of these feelings of security and confidence, children are more apt to take risks, experiment, and explore. This link between emotional safety and learning has been identified and described by researchers, who tell us that the quality of teacher-child relationships influences children's achievement in school (National Research Council 2001).
Below are 7 strategies that are helpful in Connecting with kids.
Slow Down and Stay in the Moment - shows that you want to be with them
Keep Learning About Children - shows your genuine interest and desire to learn about them
Listen to Children - grows relationships
Personalize your Interactions - observe and customize your reactions to them
Show Respect - child will feel stronger and more competent as well as trusting
Guide Children's Behavior - shows that you are on their team
Keep Trust Growing - affirms the vital role you play in child's life
So, Connect with your kids! It will make Step 3 of Powerful Interactions a smooth ride, and you and your kids will eventually be "singing a beautiful melody together" just like my daughter and her teacher did.