Getting parenting right, Dr. Gabor Mate, author of Hold On To Your Kids, stresses the importance of getting parenting right in the first 3 years. No pressure! He really captures the need for parents to securely attach to their kids from the start, in order to faciliate their healthy development of becoming secure, thriving adults. A securely attached relationship with our kids depends on our capacity to be with our kids, to be present. I love his take on discipline, which can be a controversial parenting issue. Gabor invites parents to make our kids desire to be our disciples. Children want to belong to us. Disciples aren’t afraid of you. They love you and want to follow you. So how do we do that? His answer: essential to healthy development is the template of a nurturing relationship with mutually responsive adults.
- Stay in relationshp and connection with your kids.
- Be available to them when they are difficult and upset.
- Pick up your kids when they are crying.
- Give them the message that their emotions matter to you.
- Love your kids unconditionally, and remind them of this as much as you can.
- Stay mindful of both the implicit and explicit messages your kids internalize from how you treat them. Embody this message from head to toe – I welcome and am overjoyed by your presence – and your kids will believe you.