How to Improve Parent-Child Relationship
through Mindful Guiding?
You want your child to play with you, to interact with the family, to have a decent meal together for once without having to deal with temper tantrums. But, no matter how hard you try, you can't seem to achieve a meaningful connection with your child. You are disappointed and felt like you're such a bad parent. You're stuck and you hope someone out there can help you to build a healthy relationship with your child.
You have come to the right place. In RDI, our main priority is about bringing you and your child closer emotionally. Not about getting a therapist to fix his or her negative behaviour. We are here to coach YOU, yes you as a parent, to take on the role as the primary guide to your child.
In RDI, we focus on mindful guiding between parents and the child. Because we believe that children learn the best through parents.
What is Mindful Guiding?
To simplify, mindful guiding is about providing children with the learning opportunity to observe, think and solve little encounters in their daily lives. So over time, they can get more dynamic in their thinking process and are able to be flexible and form healthy relationships with other people.
As adults, we have a particular set of routines we follow every day. For example, when we get home, we automatically take keys out from the bag, open the door, turn on the lights, and put away our bags at a designated spot. Or after we make dinner, we know to set up the table before eating. These simple steps are almost autopilot to us. But for neurodiverse children, initiating these steps independently can be complex and challenging.
We have heard parents voicing their concerns that their neurodiverse children will not act unless instructed to do so. To address this, how can we teach children to not rely on static instructions but be more dynamic and independent themselves?
That’s when RDI’s mindful guiding comes in. In the parent-coaching program, we teach you how to guide your children to dynamic think for themselves, to solve problems presented in front of them, and to guide them to be independent.
Here are some main core principles in mindful guiding for parents:
To break down daily routines into simple steps. This is to provide opportunities for children to join in the activity with you
To learn how to guide children to think dynamically when presented with a problem
To guide children to come out with the best solution to the problems
Using the three core principles of mindful guiding, let’s revisit our first example above to see how we can insert opportunities for children to think.
One day, you got home from grocery shopping with your child. Your hands are full of grocery bags, and it’s difficult for you to reach for the keys. Here are three different ways you can apply mindful guiding for the child.
You intentionally make the bags so heavy that you cannot reach for the keys – to see if the child understands the presented challenge and help you take the keys out from the bag.
If the child does not understand the situation or does not know how to help, you can guide them by saying, “oh no, mummy’s hands are too full with bags, I can’t get the keys. I need your help.”
If the child still finds it difficult to understand, you can help by opening your bag and showing him the keys. You can say, “I think we need the keys to open the door.”
That’s mindful guiding. We use tiny and simple daily routines to encourage children to participate in learning with us. Instead of doing it for them or instructing them (“take the keys out and open the door”), we are giving them the opportunity to take charge of their own thinking and actions. We invite them into our world, allowing them to see things from different perspectives and be independent.