Parent SKILLZ 2: Attunement
“Be so aware of your child’s strengths and weaknesses so that you can anticipate their behavior choices before they happen.” When you are ‘tuned-in’ with your child, you can more easily understand how to help your child become the best version of themselves. You will create a stronger child who is richer in confidence, which is essential to also fostering independence as he/ she navigates through life.
So, how can you become more ‘attuned’ with your child in a manner that makes a difference?
KNOWING THE PIES
Experts suggest you intentionally pay attention to who your child is ‘as a whole’ which includes where he or she is at physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially. Pay attention to your child’s ‘strengths’ and ‘areas for potential improvement’ without being vocally critical. (Not sure what this means or want more information? Click here) This involves getting inside the ‘child’s world’ and supporting it, rather than staying in the ‘adult world’ and trying to constantly correct mistakes.
REPLACE CRITICISM WITH NURTURING
Notice use of the phrase ‘areas of potential improvement’ instead of ‘weaknesses’ because the goal is to identify where your child needs the most nurturing in replace of criticism. Keep in mind, learning to be ‘attuned’ with your child takes time and effort, and is a process of trial and error. No matter how well you know your child, there will often be mixed-signals on whether certain behaviors or characteristics are ‘strengths’ or ‘areas for potential improvement,’ so my suggestion is to do your homework on his or her stage of development as a starting point for your observations.
EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT
Also keep in mind that every child is different, and what may seem like an area where your child is falling behind does not exactly indicate your child needs immediate help or is a reason to be concerned. After all, you are the parent, and your natural parent instincts are the true factor when helping your child become the best version he or she can be!
Adapted from Parent SKILLZ created by child development expert Melody Johnson.