Connecting with a child, a hand, and a story

“Connection… is the key to cooperation.”  These are powerful words by Becky Bailey.  As most of you know, I fully believe she is heaven sent to help all of us adults (parents, teachers, etc) learn the best ways to help ourselves and our children develop successful life and relationship skills.  

The following is an excerpt from her latest e-newsletter, and relates directly to our developmentally focus in many of my classes, inhibitory control – the ability of a person to control their own actions.  Music is an excellent way to help teach children to enjoy stopping, or moving slowly, or playing the drum at the correct time… through playful interactions.  Becky helps us keep in mind that much of the child’s ability for self control comes from the adults love and shared belief that the child can be successful.

“Connection is the cornerstone to Brain Smart® learning and the key to cooperation. Adults sometimes perceive behavioral or academic problems as children “being mischievous” or “trying to get attention.” The inability to focus attention or control one’s impulses, however, indicates more than laziness, disobedience or lack of intelligence. Missing or emerging neural connections between the body and the mind are often at the heart of the matter. Connection literally wires the brain for impulse control, and so establishing strong bonds is helpful for easing problem behavior, increasing cooperation and developing healthy neural patterns. Using I Love You Rituals throughout your day is an easy, immediate way to begin increasing the bonds between you and the children in your care.

Below is a ritual that, like all I Love You Rituals, is designed to facilitate connection. As you conduct this ritual, focus on the four necessary aspects of a meaningful connection: Eye contact, touch, presence and a playful setting. You can find more of these delightful activities in the book, “I Love You Rituals” by Dr. Becky Bailey. 

Story Hand
Tell the child, “It is story time.” The child will probably think you are going to read a book. Instead, take his/her hand and tell a reassuring or encouraging story about a success, concern or event in the child’s day.

Start with the pinky finger, giving it a nice massage and saying, “This little finger wanted to learn how to ride a two-wheel bicycle.” (The story you tell will be based on your child’s life. I am using the success story of learning to ride a bike as an example.) Go to the next finger and give it a massage, saying, “This finger was a little afraid that he might fall off.” Continue to the next finger, saying, “But this finger said, ‘I can do it. I just know I can.’” At the index finger, continue with the story, “So he decided to try and try again.” Finally, massage the thumb and say excitedly, “Did he do it? Did he do it?” Then tuck the thumb into the palm of the child’s hand make a reassuring statement: “No problem. All the fingers knew she [or he] would do it all the time.”

I have so much to recommend, but here is where to start getting Brain Smart !

Just TRY this wonderful finger play with your child – focusing your storytelling on some success your child has had recently.

Check out her website:  http://www.consciousdiscipline.com/

Subscribe to her monthly newsletter (on the left of her website).

Check out the TOP 10  To Dos in the Free Stuff on her website.

Just know…  these teachings can help you become a better parent.  It helped me, and continues to help me over time.  So has Kindermusik – in many similar ways.   These help me connect with my child, and continually re- focus on the vision of a child who thrives – loving and living life to the fullest.

Tell me what you think !   PLEASE comment and tell me your thoughts about this wonderful finger play and how it worked with your child.  OR tell us what kind of “Love Rituals” you share in your home?

Anybody want to discuss Becky Bailey, her philosophy, her books, her MUSIC, etc.?  I’ve got LOTS of her materials I can show you.   And lots to share on trying to implement these ideas.  I STILL have so much to learn – let’s do it together !

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