Stop Stressing and Form a Connection…


“Essential Connection” Dissolves Stress Fast


The one thing that children want from a parent is their attention. If you break down what attention really is, you’ll see that it’s a connection.  Being connected with your children does not mean being their buddy; it means being their parent either strict or not strict, doting or non doting either way must be given with love.

Our love
Dad loves Daughter and Daughter loves Dad – connecting is great!

I came upon this realization a few days ago…the day before my daughter’s eleventh birthday.  I was stressing over what I could give her so that she would think me a great parent or person?  I bought her a card and birthday cake and I didn’t tell her about those, however; I recall asking, “I think for a gift this year I’ll just renew your phone card for another month, would that be okay with you? Things are really tight, sorry hun.”

She never skipped a beat but responded immediately, “Sure Dad, that’s okay,” and I could tell by her smile and other body language that it was okay.

Dad picked me up from school as he always does and asked me the same daily mundane things – how was your day, did you have recess?  What did you do all day… and I replied in my usual one syllable answers, but then something out of the ordinary, “Let’s go for a little ride,” and we cruised right by the turn-off for our home.

I could tell that Dad didn’t know where we were going but the temp (70º) was so perfect and he knew there were no kids for me to play with near our home so he kept driving; Dad loves to drive.  He began speaking to me with no  catches, such as, “Clean your room, clean the birdcage, wash the dishes or make your bed.  No orders whatsoever, and I could sense Dad’s enjoyment in his conversation with me!  We talked to one another and I felt at ease brining things up that used to be so private.  We were both so relaxed and the words just rolled off our tongues. We only drove around for about half an hour, but wow, what a wonderful half hour.

Ahem!  All I am saying is to make that simple connection with your son or daughter because I guarantee that the hearts of both parent and child will open.  You will absolutely make a connection and relieve much stress.   You will feel the love surging back and forth between parent and child.  Focusing on love and creating a connection causes unseen feelings to magically eat up stress.  Stress and love cannot exist in the same space. When a stressed-out parent takes a few minutes to just sit, listen and focus all their attention, on their child, well it’s as if a new bond had been forged and the child feels safe with you once again.

You must, like anything else, believe.  In the words of a hugely successful man with an education that ended at eighth grade, Henry Ford made this observation – “Whether you think you can — or you can’t — you’re right.”  It’s like my dad always said,  “You have to change your way of thinking, Steve, then your world changes.”  Dad was another intelligent man with only eight grades of education.

All one has to do is stop and give each other a true-feel hug, really connect. Then let your child do all the work. Ask her to tell you about her day and be interested in her replies.  Tell your child how good they are doing and don’t mention the things that have to get done or the things she’s done wrong today. That’s really how to do it. It is so simple and yet, long-lasting, enduring and heartfelt.  That bit of time invested in your child’s well-being can be the end to stress because you will have made such an honest and fulfilling time together.  Gone will be the concerns of whether you are doing enough for the child because they will be exuding happiness from every pore.

2012 - Just before her dance performance with CSFA at Burnsville Performing Arts Center...
2012 – Just before her dance performance with CSFA at Burnsville Performing Arts Center…

Happiness will replace frustration, softness and concern will replace harsh anger, warmth, and kindness will extinguish sadness, and exhaustion.  Before connecting, love and essential connections would disappear each day due to the fast pace of life.

2011 painted face credited to her school carnival
2011 painted face credited to her school carnival

But when that occurs…so does stress.  It creeps in to take the place of calmness and love.  Connections are a magnificent thing that happens between a parent and a child so make them happen more often.  It really does the trick to de-stress.

The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed and crazy, and so many want your attention, all from opposite directions, remember to take five.  Recall the joy on your child’s face, and your jubilation feeling that joy and the solidarity between your souls. The child did not ask to be brought into this world, you  helped make them and to abandon them would be a cowardly act of self-indulgence.  So re-connect occasionally and get the “New” feeling again!


Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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