What does “connecting before correcting” mean?

Let’s start with an example:

You’ve just walked into a room and found that your child spilled a glass of juice on the floor. Instead of immediately telling your child to be more careful, you might kneel down and say, “Oops! That looks like a big spill. It must have surprised you when it happened.” That’s the “connecting” part. After that, you might add, “Let’s clean it up together and maybe next time we can be more careful.” That’s the “correcting” part.

How it works

By connecting first, you show your child that you care about their feelings and experiences. It makes it easier for them to accept guidance and learn from their mistakes.

Connect before you correct
Connect before you correct

​Connecting before correcting helps us put ourselves in our children’s shoes, before telling them to do something we want.

A summary of the parenting tool “connect before you correct”
  1. UNDERSTAND: Before you jump in with advice or correction, try to see things from your child’s perspective. Imagine how they might be feeling or what they might be thinking.
  2. BUILD A BRIDGE: Use empathy and love to create a bond with your child in that moment. This might mean a hug, a kind word, or just a moment of listening.
  3. Then; GUIDE: Once you’ve connected and they feel understood, you can guide or correct their behavior. They’re more likely to listen and cooperate because they feel supported and valued.
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