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#100 The 100 Minute Connection Challenge: One Week to Stronger Family Bonds

Season #2


Hello, wonderful listeners, and welcome to a special milestone episode, the 100th edition of the 3D Parent Podcast! First and foremost, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you. Your support, your feedback, and your dedication to listening to this podcast have been the driving force behind its success. It's your enthusiasm that fuels my passion for sharing valuable insights and guidance on parenting through each episode.

In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life. But amidst the chaos, it's essential to recognize and address our children's innate need for connection. They crave our time, our attention, and most importantly, our presence. And that's where the 100 Minute Connection Challenge comes in.

Now, for this momentous episode, I wanted to switch things up a bit and stay true to the theme of 100. So, I've devised an exciting challenge for you – the 100 Minute Connection Challenge. This challenge is designed to inspire you to deepen the bonds with your children over the course of a week. Because let's face it, one of the most vital aspects of parenting is nurturing a strong, secure, and heartfelt connection with our kids.

Throughout this episode, I'll be sharing all the details of this challenge, including how it works and what you can expect. But wait, there's more! I've also created a downloadable PDF bingo board, with a link to download found in the show notes. This bingo board serves two purposes: to inject an element of fun into the challenge and to hold yourself accountable for completing the 100 minutes of connection activities with your child in the coming week.


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Episode Resources:

CLICK HERE to Download The 100 Minute Connection Challenge Bingo Board PDF 

Book: “Hold On to Your Kids” by Gordon Neufeld, Ph. D. and Gabor Maté, M.D.


CLICK HERE: Episode 87 of The 3D Parent Podcast: Parenting with Deep Connection


Hello and welcome to Episode 100 of the 3D Parent Podcast! Can you believe it? We've hit the big 100! I'm genuinely thrilled to have reached this milestone, and I'm deeply grateful for your continued support and engagement. So, to mark this special occasion, I wanted to do something meaningful, something that reflects the essence of what this podcast is all about: nurturing strong connections between parents and their children.

I've been pondering what to do for this significant episode, and I wanted to keep it aligned with our theme of 100. Hence, I present to you the 100 Minute Connection Challenge – a week-long challenge dedicated to strengthening the bond between you and your child.

Why this challenge? By dedicating just 100 minutes of your week to intentionally connect with your child, their behavior will become more manageable, meltdowns will become less frequent, and the overall atmosphere at home will become more harmonious. Sounds pretty amazing, right?

Connection is at the core of what I talk about on the 3D Parent Podcast. It's one of the 4 key components of my 3D Parent Model – Deep Connection. And for good reason! Human beings, especially children, thrive on meaningful connections, particularly with their primary caregivers. When that bond is strong, children flourish and grow. But when it's lacking or superficial, it's noticeable in the relationship dynamic.

That's why I'm challenging you to give this 100 Minute Connection Challenge a go. Trust me, I've seen firsthand the incredible impact it can have. In my one-on-one parent coaching sessions, I often start with focusing on connection because many behavioral issues stem from relational issues. When parents prioritize connecting with their children, those challenges often start to fade away.

Now, let's talk about why this challenge is impactful, especially in today's world. Our children are craving connection more than ever. In our busy lives filled with work, school, activities, and endless distractions, it's easy to overlook the importance of quality time spent with our kids.

Sure, you might be spending time together with your children, but how much of that time is truly focused on genuine connection? Often, our interactions with our children revolve around tasks and obligations. We're busy ticking off to-do lists rather than simply enjoying each other's company.

That's where the 100 Minute Connection Challenge comes in. It's a reminder to slow down and prioritize moments of genuine connection. And don't let the seemingly small timeframe fool you. 100 minutes spread out over a week may not sound like much, but when it's dedicated solely to bonding with your child, it can make a world of difference.

But before we dive into the specifics of the challenge, let's take a moment to understand the signs of connection hunger in our children. Dr. Gordon Neufeld's work on attachment stages sheds light on this topic, highlighting six key stages: proximity, sameness, belonging/loyalty, significance, love, and being known.

When children are craving connection, they may exhibit behaviors such as separation anxiety, clinginess, insecurity, or a constant need for attention. These are all signs that they're working to fulfill their attachment needs, seeking reassurance and closeness from their primary caregivers.

As parents, it's crucial for us to recognize these signs and respond with empathy and understanding. Instead of viewing them as attention-seeking behaviors, we should see them as signals of unmet needs, a call for connection and reassurance in a world that often feels overwhelming.

So, what can we do to address this connection hunger and create a more secure attachment with our children? It starts with restoring a sense of rest – a state where our children feel safe, supported, and free from the burden of seeking our attention through problematic behaviors. When our children are in this state of rest, we'll see them thriving, exploring, and embracing their true selves. That's the essence of childhood – to be free to grow and discover without the burden of seeking connection. And as parents, it's our responsibility to nurture a foundation of trust and unconditional love with our children.

Strategy for Providing Rest in Relationship

“Trumping the Needs”
This is one of my absolute favorite strategies for fostering deeper connections with our children. This concept, derived from the work of Dr. Gordon Neufeld, is a game-changer for parents who notice their children exhibiting what we call "working behaviors." You know, those signs that they're seeking connection and attention from us.

Trumping the needs is all about shifting away from the typical parent-child dynamic. Instead of waiting for our children to come to us with their needs and demands, we take the proactive approach. We seek them out. We initiate the connection. We pursue our kids with intention and enthusiasm.

Now, if you're interested in delving deeper into this topic, I highly recommend checking out episode number 87 of the 3D Parent Podcast. In that episode, I explore the six stages of attachment in detail and offer insights on how to identify and address them. But for now, let's focus on trumping the needs.

Let’s say, your child hasn't asked for a hug, but you sense they could use one. So, you go ahead and give them a big, warm hug before they even realize they need it. That's trumping the needs in action. By being proactive in our approach to connection, we can fill our children's connection cups before they even know they're empty.

But it doesn't stop there. Another aspect of trumping the needs is going above and beyond what's requested. Let's say your child asks for a bedtime story. Instead of simply reading a book, you make it an interactive adventure, complete with sound effects and character voices. You exceed their expectations and make the experience even more special. Or perhaps your child randomly tells you they love you. Instead of just saying "I love you too," you respond with "I love you to infinity and beyond," borrowing a line from Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story. It's these little moments of going the extra mile that can truly strengthen the bond between parent and child.

Now, on to the 100 Minute challenge:

Let's talk about diving into this 100-minute challenge I've prepared for you. The goal? To amp up your efforts in connecting with your children over the span of a week. Think of it as a little gift to yourself and your kids – a chance to strengthen those bonds and create some magical moments together.

Now, I know what you might be thinking: "But I have more than one child! How do I make this work without leaving anyone out?" Well, here's the trick: while I encourage you to spread the love across all your kids, I also suggest focusing extra attention on one child, especially if you're feeling a bit disconnected from them lately.

Think about it like this: choose the child you're currently struggling with the most in terms of your relationship. That child who seems to bring out the most friction or oppositional energy – they're your top pick for this challenge. By devoting intentional time to connect with them, you might just turn things around for the better.

Now, let's get into the nitty-gritty of this challenge. I've whipped up a downloadable bingo board filled with connection activities for you to tackle. You can find the link under “Episode Resources” right  in these show notes. This bingo board is your roadmap for the week ahead, guiding you through 100 minutes of intentional bonding with your child.

But hey, if some of the activities don't quite fit your vibe or your child's interests, no worries! I've included a blank bingo board in the PDF where you can jot down your own ideas. The key is to spend a total of 100 minutes over the week engaging in these connection activities. 

Let's take a peek at some of the activities on the bingo board:

Five special time sessions (10 min. each): these are golden opportunities for one-on-one quality time with your child. No screens, no distractions, just you and your kiddo. Whether it's a fun activity they've been wanting to do or something you lead, the choice is yours.

Write a little love note (2 min.): Write a simple love note to tuck into your child's lunchbox, backpack, or coat pocket for them to discover. It's a tiny gesture that'll bring a big smile to their face. Who doesn't love a surprise love note?

Make a special snack (5 min): Spend five minutes whipping up a special snack for your child. Get creative – maybe make a fruit masterpiece or check out Pinterest for some creative snack-spiration. It's all about showing your child that you were thinking of them and that they are worth your extra effort.

Back massage or foot rub (5 min.): Need to unwind? How about a five-minute back massage or foot rub for your child? It's a simple way to show them some love and relaxation. Plus, it's a win-win – they get pampered, and you get some quality bonding time.

10 Affirmation Fingertip Activity (10 min.): Inspired by a blog called 71 Toes, this activity involves brainstorming 10 positive words to describe your child. Then, using a permanent pen, write one letter of each word on the tip of your child's fingers, explaining why you chose each word along the way. It's a beautiful way to boost their self-esteem and deepen your connection..

Connection Phrases (30 sec.): For those days when time is tight, we've got some 30-second activities up our sleeve. Just a quick phrase out of the blue, like "I was thinking how lucky I am to have you as my child" or "I love who you are," can work wonders in strengthening your bond.


Some of you might be a tad skeptical. You're probably thinking, "Is spending just a little over an hour and a half really going to make that much of a difference?" Well, hear me out. Sometimes, it's the small, intentional efforts that yield the biggest impact. So, even if you're not entirely convinced, I urge you to give it a shot. Trust me, I've seen firsthand, both in my personal life and through my work as a parent coach, how dedicating a bit of extra time to connect with your child can create ripples of positivity throughout your relationship. Remember, nothing is more crucial than the relationship you share with your child. When you're facing challenges or feeling lost as a parent, always come back to this foundation: connection. Whenever you're unsure, focusing on strengthening your connection with your child is always the right move.

So, let go of your worries and concerns for a moment. Set them aside and channel your energy into nurturing that bond. Commit to a week of intentional connection and observe how it transforms your dynamics.

So, are you up for the challenge?