A secure relationship is a relationship in which we can share a lot of our authentic selves. Our hopes, dreams, fears, emotions… Not just convenient, comfortable stuff that will not rock the boat.
I think about it as a bandwidth of the relationship. A solid relationship bandwidth does not just happen. We nurture it by consistently noticing and validating what our children share with us and by being available and present when they come to us. It is not set in stone - it can shrink or grow depending on how attuned we are to our children.
We can also be proactive about it and ask questions that invite our children to share a little bit more about their inner world and help them learn through that experience that it is safe to talk about all sorts of stuff.
If you’d like to give it a go but you are not entirely sure how to start - try one of my favourite dinner questions (actually, you can ask them anytime - at dinner, at bedtime, when travelling or queuing at the supermarket). Choose a question that you’d like to ask and decide when you are going to invite this conversation. If your child does not feel like talking about it or gives a very short answer - it’s ok. Leave it at that for now. You can always give it another go with the same or different question another time.
Choose a question from the list below:
What three places would you like to visit as a family?
How do you like to relax?
If you could wake up tomorrow with a new skill in which you excelled, what would it be and why?
What significant event is coming up in your life, and how do you feel about it?
How do you feel about our physical home? Would you like to make any changes?
Are you like anyone in our family? Who? How?
Have your friendships changed lately? Have you grown closer to some friends? More distant from others?
What would you like to be acknowledged for today?
What are you curious about?
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Who has inspired you the most this year?
If you could witness one event in history, which one would you choose?
What is your favourite thing about birthdays?
What are you most looking forward to next year?
When are you happiest?
What are you good at?
I hope it will open some interesting conversations, help you keep the bandwidth of your relationship nice and wide and deepen the sense of security in your connection.
P.s. If you would like more ideas for nurturing your unique connection with your child, have a look at the mini-course 24 ways you can be there for your child.