SARASOTA- The first relationship a child has is with their parent, and building a strong relationship can help children connect with their own emotions.

A world-renowned child- neuropsychiatrist was on the Suncoast to give parents tips on limiting screen-time and getting down to your child’s level.

With so many distractions from outside world, Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute Dr. Daniel Siegel says it can be difficult for kids to connect with themselves.

“The saddest thing to see is a child who’s so busy focusing on the external world,” Dr. Sigel said. “They don’t know what’s going on inside of themselves, and giving them the chance to develop that internal complex is essential for well-being.”

Dr. Siegel says it’s important for parents to talk to kids about how they are feeling and why.

“When they use those kinds of seeing the mind, or mindsight,” Dr. Siegel says. “They actually develop kids who start to understand their own minds, and the minds of others called empathy.”

Parents can start to do this with a few easy changes.

“Let’s say your kid is really upset and you just say do this Billy, Do that Billy, well you’re not connecting first.” Dr. Sigel said. “If you instead see that your child is upset, get down on his level, and then check in with him about it, and say I see you’re really distressed, tell me what’s going on, rather than telling him what to do, he then will feel connected.”

Dr. Siegel says parents can then help kids redirect their emotions into something positive, while building stronger emotional connections with them.

“But there are a lot of things that get in the way with that,” Dr. Siegel said. “Our own may be difficult,” Dr. Siegel said. “Or, our cell phones may distract us. I see so many young parents and even older parents now glued to the screen of their phone, instead of being connected to the face of their child.”

Dr. Siegel says developing a connection with your kids, can help them develop relationships with others.

“That allows children to not only have a relationship with other kids,” Dr. Siegel said. “And moving into adolescence other adolescence, but even a relationship with themselves.”

Dr. Siegel says it’s never too late to start building an emotional connection with your child.

The post Building connections with your child appeared first on SNN TV.