If you find yourself walking on eggshells around your kids, at the moment, you are not alone.
More tantrums than usual?
More anxious and tearful?
Harder to coax out of their room?
Harder to engage in conversation?
Let's face it, the pandemic is having an impact on all of us in so many ways. Our kids are simply taking the lead from us and their environment, trying to understand the conflicting and complicated information that they're seeing, watching and over-hearing, PLUS coping with all of the usual angst that comes with growing up and finding your place in the world.
Most parents and carers will simply be doing their best - that's how we operate, so first and foremost, cut yourself a break! Parents are just people looking after smaller people the very best way they know how. And right now, you may be struggling to be feeling at your best. So my first tip is to BE KIND TO YOURSELF; Ensure there are things that bring you pleasure, motivation and relaxation in your diary. I know, I know, there's not 5 minutes spare in the day right? Whatever you prioritise, gets done... so put those little windows of time in your diary today, and start taking care of you.
If you want to de-escalate tensions and shore up personal confidence and wellbeing for the children in your life, CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT FOR SAFE TALKING; We like to think our kids can always come to us with whatever's on their mind, and you've probably told them this repeatedly. There's nothing quite like showing them how it's done; so make it normal to discuss the highs and lows of the day. Over dinner, in the car, before the TV goes on? Just 5 mins, where everyone gets to share how they're feeling and what's going on for them. I'm not saying this is easy with young teens, but they will benefit from such openness being prioritised.
What about those fractious emotions? All kids can step over the line at times BUT if you notice your child seems to be increasingly over sensitive, snappy, tearful or unreasonably demanding... maybe try avoiding the temptation to send them to their room or the naughty step. TELL THEM IT'S OK, and you don't want to leave them alone with their sad or anxious feelings. Encourage them to talk through what's triggering their mood (rather than just focusing on the behaviour).
We aren't trained for this. Life is unpredictable. Right now we are coping with A LOT. We can't predict how the pandemic is going to influence our children in the long term, so focus on what you can control, look for any signs of increased anxiety and keep the lines of communication open (and maybe try to ignore the odd slammed door!)
For any support or a conversation around the incredible effectiveness of hypnotherapy for children, please just get in touch.