Special Time: Key Points
Excerpts from Listening to Children, Special Time
by Patty Wipfler, www.handinhandparenting.com
- The practice of giving Special Time to your child is an excellent tool for parenting in difficult times.
- When we make the time to fully concentrate on our relationships with our children, we satisfy some of the deep needs for loving and being close that are natural to people of every age.
Special Time Guidelines
- Set aside a short, defined period of time, during which there will be no interruptions at all: no telephone, no doorbell, no siblings to be tended, no need for you to do anything except be with your child. Using a timer is helpful.
- Choose a time when you can be free of worries and fatigue.
- During Special Time, this reversal of the usual balance of power will encourage your child to bring up thoughts and feelings she can’t during the bustle of everyday life.
- Let her know that you are enjoying her thoroughly. Let your affection, interest and approval show on your face.
- Expect new things to happen. Your acceptance and expectation will allow your child to show you new things about her.
- Don’t give in to the temptation to direct the play with your own ideas, or to teach how it could be done better. Your child needs many opportunities to use her own judgment and to experiment freely. The modifications to play that you suggest will keep you from fully understanding her ideas, her preferences and her enthusiasm. Modify the play only if it is clearly unsafe.
2013 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking, webinars, and private parent coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the Parenting on the Peninsula magazine. Contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, cynthia@bridges2understanding,com, or 650. 341.0779 to learn more about creating the relationship you want with your children.