Create a Connected Childhood
Many kids grow up disconnected. They may have material advantages, but they lack the most important advantage of all: emotional connection to people, places, and activities they love.
A connected child feels involved in a world larger than himself. He feels — and feels is the crucial verb — held in place by loving arms. This feeling of connection goes deeper than beliefs or knowledge.
Connection is an inoculation against despair, a vitamin that propels positive growth. I call it the other vitamin C, “vitamin connect.” Of course, the key to the development of any child is love, which begets the feeling of connectedness.
When I urge you to create a connected childhood, I am not referring to electronic connections — cell phones, instant messaging, and the Internet. I am no Luddite, harrumphing that we should turn back the clock. However, electronic devices, like ice cream, spinach, vitamins, or anything else, are best served in moderation. A connected child has multiple points of positive connection, holding her in place, stabilizing her, and giving her joy, as well as direction. Connection to family is at the heart of it. But “connected” does not mean “without conflict.” The opposite of connection is not conflict, but indifference. The way to create a connected family is to spend time together, talk, interact, discuss, argue, even fight. Don’t disengage. Go on outings together, take trips to the ice cream store. Honor traditions, rituals, holidays, and birthdays.
The beauty of a connected childhood is that it is available to everyone. It is free. There is no test one must pass, no dress code or pledge required. Helping your child with ADD make connections is where you should put your greatest efforts.
Step Two: Encourage Play