Changes that Heal: Helping Your Child Bond with Others

Helping child bond with others

Lately, I’ve been reading Dr. Henry Cloud’s “Changes that Heal“.  It’s a book on personal growth written from a Christian perspective.  It covers on case studies and simple techniques that show you how to grow emotionally and spiritually, learn to heal past emotional wounds and identify mental defenses that hinder one from bonding with others on a deeper level.

Bonding with others

One chapter in “Changes that Heal“, covers how we could bond closer with others.

Firstly, what is bonding?

Bonding is the ability to establish an emotional attachment to another person. It’s the ability to relate to another on the deepest level.

Why does it matter?

1. Basis for Morality

In a case study, Dr Cloud asked the participants if they were given a baseball bat and had permission to bash him in the face, would they do it.  Usually the participants would reply no.  Then he goes on to ask why.

One person said, “Because it’s wrong to hit someone.  It’s not right.”  Another replied, “Because it would hurt you, and I don’t want to hurt you.”

Now, which person would you trust with the bat?  Most people quickly conclude that they’d choose the latter, because he empathized.

Since we often do what we know is wrong, rules rarely keep us in line.  Love does a much better job of keeping us moral.  We think of how we might hurt the one we love, more often than we think of some code we must keep.

2. Meaning of Accomplishments

Bonding gives meaning to ones’ accomplishments.  They see their work and view things from a different perspective that make them productive.

Bonded people know the real reason for work.  They do not work to pile up possessions.  They do not work to run from pain.  They work for the family of humanity.

3. Feelings of badness and guilt

We derive our self-worth to a large extent from others.  Our feelings are usually internalized by how others treat us.  We feel as if we are bad, if we feel unloved or unaccepted.

Helping your child bond with others

How to Apply the Principles with Your Child?

1. Basis for Morality

I use to tell Hannah, “Don’t do this or that because it’s wrong.”   Now, whenever I see her snatch a toy or if she doesn’t show kindness to another, I ask questions like how the other child might feel etc, to help Hannah see in a different perspective and learn how to empathize with others.

2. Meaning of Accomplishments

Recently, we saw a cleaner clearing rubbish and Hannah told me that “the uncle was cleaning rubbish.”  Seeing an opportunity for a discussion, I asked her how she felt if all the rubbish bins were piled with rubbish, and there wasn’t anyone to help empty the bins?  What if our neighborhood was filled with litter and nobody cleared them?

She thought for a while, and said it was going to stink and she couldn’t throw her rubbish properly into the bins.  Then, I shared that uncle’s job is a noble one.  He helps to make the place beautiful and clean for everyone to enjoy.  We too have a part to play – don’t litter and create unnecessary wastage.

3. Feelings of badness and guilt

There have been several instances where Hannah was being snubbed by other children.  She might try her very best to make friends with them, like sharing her toys, asking them to play with her, tugging their sleeves and calling them, “Kor Kor” (big brother) and “Jie Jie” (big sister).  But you can’t control how other children react and let’s face it – life isn’t fair.  They may not treat you the same way as you want them to.

I see the look of disappointment and frustration on Hannah’s face.  There was once or twice where she literally broke down and cried because she was feeling “crummy” inside.  These are times where I’ll pull her aside and comfort her.  Assuring her that she’s not bad and there’s something wrong with her, if people doesn’t befriend her.  She will find people who will be friends with her.  And sometimes, the children just aren’t in the mood to make new friends.  That doesn’t mean they don’t want to be your friends forever.


Children develop their perception of the world and how trustworthy it is through their parents. How they perceive things around them and how they bond with others are through their relationship with us.  That’s how important the roles of parents are!

Linking up with Susan from “A Juggling Mom”

Published by

Dawn @ Homeschool Crafts

Mom. Blogger. Homeschooler.

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