by Jay Anderson
Spending time together is great – right? So many things we can do. For some families, being together is fun and enjoyable – for other families, it is stressful, distressing, boring or even conflictual. For some – the holidays are a “breeze”, while for others it is a huge challenge. So when the country talks of people being isolated, and when things are cancelled…..and cancelled…..or don’t happen. This is a big surprise, a challenge or distressful.
We know that children gain comfort and security from routines as well as a range of things in their life. This can involve a positive relationship with their parents and a consistent routine. When parents understand their child (and their emotions) then the child is better able to be free to share their emotions.
The majority of people would be aware that stress impacts on our functioning, and on our immune system. So, spending time with others, can be great, or it can be distressing. Everyone’s tolerance is different, and interactions in our family and community impact on our mental health and daily functioning.
Being isolated can be a particular challenge. So also, can being stuck in a small space with the same people for a period of time. It will be important for parents and families to closely monitor their mood and interactions.
Parents are the role models for children. Children are watching – watching how their parents deal with emotions, or conflict, interactions with others or even themselves. So, as children grow, they learn to make choices and to experience responsibility and consequences. Parents are there to guide and assist children, and the strength of the parent- child relationship is most important. Have a think about how your parent-child relationship is going and what could be different.
A few strategies to assist:
- Having some fun things to do together. Board games. Listening to music. Gardening
- Having some time apart – doing what each of us are interested in. reading a book, going to the park. Listening to music or drawing
- Maintaining consistency with routines is important – eating, breaks, sleeping….
- Engaging with a counsellor or Psychologist to provide support for managing emotions or for parenting and relationship support. This can be face to face or telehealth.
There are many challenges and many things to know or do! I hope that this information has been helpful and I can be contacted for more information on firstname.lastname@example.org
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