5 ways to re-establish your connection with your child/team

One of the core concepts that can supercharge your results and influence as a leader is that of CONNECTION.

Most of us can use some support in this area. I, for one, can also use some regular reminders to be very intentional about this area. It’s so easy to get off track as the stressors of life come up or our sports schedule gets crazy or as some other major life event is unfolding.

Like the basic fundamentals in sports, it’s always a good idea to revisit the following tips from time to time so you can maintain your connection with your child/team, as well as continually strengthen and build your relationship with them.

I highly suggest you do ALL of these at some point, but it may be simplest to start with ONE at a time. Trying to do them all at once may be tough to stick with it if you’re not used to it. Giving up on them too soon can rob you of discovering the full benefit of these ideas.

So, you’re welcome to start with just ONE concept and them move on to another. It doesn’t really matter where you begin. Choose one that appeals to you most and start there 😉

1. Take the time to notice all the best things about your child/team. Each and every day for one full week, focus first and foremost on all the best of them. You don’t even need to comment on it or say anything about it at this point. Just take a week to OBSERVE. Take a step back and look for all the amazing things your child is doing and saying and learning and exploring and working on right now.

2. STOP asking questions you already know the answer to. Seriously, stop that. Stop asking them if they took out the trash if you already know they didn’t. And you can PRACTICE this concept with EVERYONE.

For example, with younger children, stop asking questions like, “What color is your shirt” or “what are you playing with” when you can plainly see both.

Stop asking questions like … “Nobody on, ball comes to you, where’s the play?”

You already know the answer. You know where the play is. Phrase your communication differently if you want to see if they understand the situation and know the answer.

Example of rephrasing: There are no runners on. Tell me where you are going to make the play if the ball comes to you.

Or you can say … where would YOU make the play if the ball came to you.

Because now you’re not asking where’s the play (which you already know), you’re asking THEM, where would they make the play .. because you’re not them and you’re not entirely sure where they’d go with it, so it’s still makes sense to ask the question this way and still abide by this 2nd concept of not asking questions you already know the answer to.

3. Positive writing. EACH DAY for a whole week, take out a piece of paper and HANDWRITE all the positive things about your child/team. Anything that is wonderful, anything you love, anything you’ve felt uplifted by, anything that’s made you smile, anything you know about your child/team that’s positive, that’s praiseworthy, that’s honorable, that’s caring, that’s inspiring, etc.

It can be SMALL. It can be big. Do not filter. Do not try to write out what you think you should or what you think might sound good. Just jot down any positive think you can think of about your child/team.


You do not have to keep it. You do not have to be able to read it. You do not ever have to give it, or show it, to them.
Just do the exercise. It might help to do this one AFTER #1, but it’s not imperative.

4. Ask connecting questions. Rather than ask them things like, “How was school/practice?” or “Did you learn something new?” which, as we both know, rarely gets any kind of considerable response.

Ask questions like this instead …

  • What was your favorite part of the day?
  • What was one of the toughest parts of your day?
  • What made you smile or laugh today?

5. Listen, listen, listen. When you begin asking better questions, your child will begin talking more. Your job is to LISTEN. Not with the intent to respond, but with the intent to understand and learn something about them you didn’t know before.

And then, encourage them to talk more. (And what else happened? Tell me more. And what did you say to that? etc.) And then LISTEN some more.

Listen without judgement and if your child is older … DO NOT GIVE THEM INPUT UNLESS THEY ASK FOR IT.

Choose one of these things to do THIS week.

Which one are you going to start with?

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