The other day someone was telling me they weren’t getting through to their kids. It is difficult sometimes to get through, but other times I feel it’s so easy. For the easy times I boiled it down to a simple technique to connect with my young kids- and it’s worked wonders for me: Give clear undivided attention.
Get rid of their distractions
Kids are easily distracted. Get rid of anything that will take away attention. Take them out of the distracted mindset. Don’t try to engage them when they are “in middle of a show”- wait till a stopping point (give advanced warning is best) and then begin talking.
If you have multiple children. Make it special time with just one child. They wont be competing for attention and they wont get jealous. It puts them in a good frame of mind. Especially if you do something they enjoy.
Get rid of your distractions
Often times your child is ready to connect with you but you’re too busy washing dishes, tidying up or even just thinking about work. Use your time with your child wisely- don’t waste it on other tasks. Multitasking doesn’t work.
Don’t worry about teaching or forcing your kid to have fun- there will be opportunity for that. Just go with the flow.
Don’t Just Talk, Listen
Ask open ended questions. Let your child talk. Pause, let your child continue their thoughts. Don’t just ask questions, you don’t want to be a detective. Share some of your interesting thoughts and challenges from your day to get the conversation started.
Bonus: The Best Time To Connect
Often times the best time to connect with your child is time you already have together. Two big opportunities are car time and bed time. In the car there aren’t many distractions. At bed time there aren’t many distractions plus your child may view talking to you as a good way of not going to sleep early.
The truth is that clear undivided attention will work on adults too. We know that focus or getting in the zone gets everything done better and faster. Don’t multitask- pay attention.
The internet is loaded with content on how you can be more productive and get moreÂ done. David Allen’s Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity has become a virtual bible on how to achieving more in this crazy world. But if you try these techniques with your kids you’ll only end up pulling your hair out. There’s no such thing as being efficient or “processing” inboxes with kids.
Kids just want to know “when can we have fun”. I’m inaugurating a weekly series where I attempt to take the productivity tips us adults are using to achieve more and translating it to a fun, easy to use, more fun system to help kids succeed. I hope that this will in turn simplify adoption of productivity techniques that can help us all have more fun and maybe put our kids at a productive advantage in this crazy world we live in. With luck even adults who aren’t into all the fancy concepts that we productivity aficionados take for granted will be able to take something out of it.
Upcoming Articles include:
PS It’s only appropriate that I’m publishing this on my father’s birthday- who fights the world’s stresses and doesn’t let it stress me. Happy Birthday Tatty!
Recently I received an email from a reader of Success Making Machine:
When I saw this article I thought of your blog so I thought I would share it with you. i hope you like it.
10 Coaches That Could Be Exceptional CEOs
This email gave me a good feeling. Not only was a reader thinking about the site even when he wasn’t on it but he thought of me and was kind enough to email me. Plus the article was interesting.
In today’s hectic world we lose track of friends quickly and struggle to maintain relationships. Sometimes a simple reachout can enhance friendships.
Moral: Think about people and let them know it. Giving to people doesn’t have to cost anything.
photo credit: Untitled blue
We work hard- day and night. At home, we raise our kids to be the best they can be. We nurture them and help them grow. We hold their hands and never let them get hurt. At work, we empower our employees. We give them independence and greater responsibility. We step back and let them succeed.
The downside to this one way pursuit is that there’s a good chance that your kids wont become independent (e.g. they need your constant supervision) and your employees won’t grow (e.g. they don’t learn). Now take a step back and think about switching those roles: Raise your employees and empower your kids. Sometimes employees need direction, training and hand holding and your kids need the independence to get further.
I’m not suggesting that you totally switch roles between kids and employees. I’m suggesting that you inject some of the techniques of one when dealing with the other.
Stay tuned for articles that will address how to raise your employees and empower your kids.
photo credit: Todd Baker << technowannabe
Mother’s day just ended so you’re probably wondering if this article is late. Actually it isn’t. It’s right on time- for next year. Did you rush at the last second to get your mom a present, make an acknowledgment or plan a visit? Did you feel stressed? Did you do your best? Probably not.
Do you go through the same unfortunate process for birthdays, anniversarys and other events? It’s time to put your best foot forward.
Think now. Think about what you did that worked and what you did that didn’t work. Think about what you should have done. Jot down a few notes about your thoughts. It doesn’t need to be a set of ideas or anything concrete but it needs to be coherent enough that it will jog your memory about your thoughts next time you read it.
Review Monthly. Set a reminder for each month during your monthly review (someday/maybe) to look over your notes. Each month take a couple of seconds to expand and organize your ideas. Some months you’ll have nothing new to add. Other months you’ll gain a clear focus on what you want to do.
Start Preparation. Two months before the event, finalize what you’re going to do based on your notes and set actions for yourself to do it with plenty of time to spare.
Post Event Review. After the next Mother’s Day (or birthday etc) review how it went and start preparing for next year.
Speaking of preparation: Mom, Happy Mother’s Day- I’m a year early.
photo credit: eyeliam
The real estate market is in a free fall. The stock market is jittery. Is there anywhere left to invest? There is one place- that is always the best investment you can make- it is in yourself. If your company has layoffs or the stock market tanks you will always have the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired and no one can take it away from you. Here are three ways to improve your chances for success.
1. Get Smarter
The simple way to get smarter everyday is to learn more. Your IQ wont change but your knowledge and perspective on the world will. Put yourself in position to learn more: read daily, be sure to talk to interesting people . So where do you start? I recommend reading the Success Making Machine Blog– it will give you something to think about each day.
2. Learn New Skills
Figure out what you want to be when you grow. Determine next steps that can get you farther. Take a course to improve your skills. Ask a friend to teach you something you want to learn. Practice your skills so that you can master them.
3. Upgrade Your Image
The first two items will help you achieve you be smarter and more competent. Now you need to upgrade your outside to match your inside. It’s time to evaluate the image your projecting. Even though people say “dont judge a book by its cover” they still do. Has the quality of your clothes kept up with your promotions? Are your clothes in good repair? Does your work bag reflect the status you want to attain? This upgrade doesn’t have to cost much. Look at yourself objectively and see if you project the success that you are.