There are many different levels of connecting. When you call out to your child from another room you are not yet connected, you are just putting out what I will term a location finder signal. By the second and third times when you don't get a response, your frustration is rising. You are in reaction mode.

Why weren't you getting a response? Possibly your child's music or television are too loud for you to be heard. Perhaps your child is on the phone, on the computer, watching a video or totally absorbed in some activity. The reality is that you are not connected yet.

As you become more irritated with each attempt you can feel your emotional temperature rising in frustration. As frustration increases, it is natural to begin assigning meaning to why you are not getting a response. Since you are filling in the blanks while in an emotional state, you are likely to be telling yourself negative messages. You begin drawing on what happened before when you were ignored. Perhaps you think, “...never listens to me”.

When you reach your child after searching, your irritation has peaked based on the thought that your child never listens to you. The brain takes the feelings and the thought and puts them together so that the message you give yourself seems to be reality. Once you locate your child you call out their name with a tone that reflects your irritation. The three letter adolescent “huh” response you are likely to get, may set off your hot button. Perhaps you respond in a harsh tone or by yelling.

What you get back from your child is likely to be an upset, defensive, anxious reaction in response to your hyper excited emotional state. By the time you actually ask your child to do something, neither one of you are reacting to the request, you are both reacting to the emotional tone. This type of interaction can become a pattern, with toxic fallout.

The first step in connecting with your child is to have direct face to face interaction, in which there is no attitude, just engagement. No more shortcuts of calling across a room or across a house. Taking the time out-front to calmly make that face to face connection means you are focused on what is really important, connecting.

The photo above stimulates warm loving feelings. Think of the times with your hand over your child's beating heart and the mystery and joy of connecting. Photos, even slogans such as "reach out and touch someone" can have powerful influences in how we feel. Imagine reaching out and connecting with your child in a tender loving manner. Then realize that is what we live for, what makes everything feel worthwhile, the times of loving connection. We don't want to damage those precious moments by disconnecting. For every interaction, keep in mind step one of this plan, connect! Our connection brings joy and reminds us of why we invest so much into our children day after day.

Author's Bio: 

Sandra L. Dye is a child, teen and parenting expert who completed her doctoral coursework at the Professional School of Psychology. She has extensive experience over her twenty-six years in private practice helping parents and their children use the positive power of connecting, to support and influence each other.

From her education and clinical work, Sandra has developed a 5-step system that she has used to guide families to understand one another and resolve conflicts. Her website, is a problem solving, interactive site designed for parents, preteens and teens to connect, learn from and communicate with each other.