Take care of yourself, so you can support your children. COURTESY
This is a stressful time. Take care of yourself, so you can support your children.
You are not alone
Millions of people have the same fears as us. Find someone who you can talk to about how you are feeling. Listen to them. Avoid social media that makes you feel panicked.
Take a break
We all need a break sometimes. When your children are asleep, do something fun or relaxing for yourself. Make a list of healthy activities that YOU like to do. You deserve it!
Listen to your kids
Be open and listen to your children. Your children will look to you for support and reassurance. Listen to your children when they share how they are feeling. Accept how they feel and give them comfort.
Take a pause
Here's a one-minute relaxation activity that you can do whenever you are feeling stressed or worried.
Step 1: Set up
• Find a comfortable sitting position, your feet flat on the floor, your hands resting in your lap.
• Close your eyes if you feel comfortable.
Step 2: Think, feel, body
• Ask yourself, “What am I thinking now?”
• Notice your thoughts. Notice if they are negative or positive.
• Notice how you feel emotionally. Notice if your feelings are happy or not.
• Notice how your body feels. Notice anything that hurts or is tense.
Step 3: Focus on your breath
• Listen to your breath as it goes in and out.
• You can put a hand on your stomach and feel it rise and fall with each breath.
• You may want to say to yourself “It’s okay. Whatever it is, I am okay.”
• Then just listen to your breath for a while.
Step 4: Coming back
• Notice how your whole body feels.
• Listen to the sounds in the room.
Step 5: Reflecting
• Think ‘do I feel different at all?’.
• When you are ready, open your eyes. Be open and listen to your children. Your children will look to you for support and reassurance. Listen to your children when they share how they are feeling. Accept how they feel and give them comfort.
Taking a pause can also be helpful when you find your child is irritating you or has done something wrong. It gives you a chance to be calmer. Even a few deep breaths or connecting with the feeling of the floor beneath can make a difference. You can also take a pause with your children!
All children misbehave. It is normal when children are tired, hungry, afraid, or learning independence. And they can drive us crazy when stuck at home.
• Catch bad behavior early and redirect your kids’ attention from a bad to a good behavior.
• Stop it before it starts! When they start to get restless, you can distract with something interesting or fun: “Come, let’s go outside for a walk!”
Take a pause
Feel like screaming? Give yourself a 10-second pause. Breathe in and out slowly five times. Then try to respond in a calmer way. Millions of parents say this helps - a lot!
Consequences help teach our children responsibility for what they do. They also allow discipline that is controlled. This is more effective than hitting or shouting.
• Give your child a choice to follow your instruction before giving them the consequence.
• Try to stay calm when giving the consequence.
• Make sure you can follow through with the consequence. For example, taking away a teenager’s phone for a week is hard to enforce.Taking it away for one hour is more realistic.
• Once the consequence is over, give your child a chance to do something good, and praise them for it.
One-on-One time, praise for being good, and consistent routines will reduce bad behaviour.
Give your children and teens simple jobs with responsibilities. Just make sure it is something they are able to do. And praise them when they do it!