More thoughts on how to keep kids, and ourselves going…
Expect behavioural issues in children and respond gently. We are all struggling with disruption in routine, none more than children. Children rely on routines constructed by others to make them feel safe and to know what comes next. Expect increased anxiety, worries and fears, nightmares, difficulty separating or sleeping, testing limits, and meltdowns. How can we keep ourselves and the kids going? Do not introduce major behavioural plans or consequences at this time; hold stable and focus on emotional connection.
What can we do to keep the kids going?
Focus on safety and attachment. We are going to be living for a bit yet with the unprecedented demand of meeting all work deadlines, home-schooling children, running a sterile household, and managing summer in partial confinement. Adults can get wrapped up in meeting expectations out with the home, but we must remember that these can be lonely and unpredictable times for children. Children can feel out of control, cut off from normal routines and friendships.
To help children feel secure, focus on strengthening the connection of attachment. This can be done through time spent following their lead. Connection grows through physical touch, through play, through therapeutic books, and verbal reassurances that you will be there for them.
What can we do to keep ourselves going?
Allow yourself to lower expectations and practise radical self-acceptance. We are juggling so many things in this moment, still under uncertainty and stress. This does not make a formula for excellence. Instead, give yourself what psychologists call “radical self-acceptance”. Accept everything about yourself, your current situation, and your life without question, blame, or pushback. You cannot fail at this; there is no roadmap, no precedent for this, and we are all truly doing the best we can in an unpredictable situation.
Online counselling can help to relieve parents’ anxieties and keep things in proportion. Contact us using the online form for further information or email to book an initial assessment consultation without obligation.