Our world has flipped in the last few weeks. It is hard not to feel overwhelmed with the negative feelings, worried, uncertain, scared, unsafe, just to name a few. Children share our feelings too. It is hard for them to make sense of what is happening around them and sometimes they express their feelings through behaviours. They might fuss over lots of things that did not bother them before, they might become quiet, less active, clingy, or aggressive. The demands on parents are enormous so as the stress. The stress gets me too! It has been 14 days at home with Abby, my 8-year-old daughter, 24/7. I am blessed that Abby understands what is going on and has never complaint about no school, no shops, no playing at the park, dancing lessons, play dates, school camps, and the list goes on. Abby talks non stop but she does not talk about coronavirus. I notice she can’t get enough of me! She is around me almost all her waking moments (and we sleep together)! I know with all the uncertainties and zero social contact (I think for young children, they crave the physical contact), I become her rock when we are stranded in the ocean. I am the only thing that is certain in her world. I give her a sense of safety and security.
At times, Abby drives me insane! Understanding her needs for me does not give me the patience of the world! However I know I can choose my responses and actions. I can choose to turn into a tsunami and wash her off the rock with my stress and anger. I can choose to turn my face away to make a little wave to carry my feelings but not shaking the rock.
- meeting my own needs, I can’t agree more with this article! (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/18/parenting/parents-need-stress-relief-too.html)
- putting myself in quiet time when I cannot deal with Abby anymore
- scheduling time to myself, I have a coffee in the morning before Abby wakes up
- organising tasks to occupy Abby for a bit longer so I can have another cuppa or get important jobs done. I use first then concept too! Abby loves arts and crafts. Some days I make her to first do some worksheets (less preferred) then she gets to colour in some pictures (reward). It gives me a good hour of peace and quiet!
- having a routine so we both know what to expect. It saves lots of arguments. I use a visual schedule too!
- doing something for myself. I have started this blog, reading and knitting. These are things I never find time to do!!
Join me and make different choices to be a stable rock for our children to enjoy the sunsets!