Adults aren’t the only ones that have to deal with difficult situations in life. Unfortunately, children sometimes take the brunt of our mistakes, and as much as we want to wrap them up in cotton wool, there are often times when we can’t protect them. All we can do is give them the tools they need to make the right choices in life. Here are some tips for parenting your children when they’re dealing with something tough.
Let Them Talk
Distracting children from what they’re really feeling isn’t going to do them any favours. Buying your children gifts or taking them on adventures won’t address their emotional issues. At the same time, don’t sit your kids down for an interrogation. Spend quality time with them and the questions and feelings will eventually come out of them. You may want to try a light activity. For example, if a family member has passed away, young children may like to make sympathy cards.
You can never really know what’s going through a child’s mind. Don’t assume that you know what they’re worrying about. For example, if your child starts to talk to you about bullying, most parents would automatically worry that their child is having a difficult time at school. That may not be the case. Your child may be asking about bullying because a friend of theirs is bullied at school and they’re wondering how they can help. Try to get as much information from your child before jumping to conclusions.
Divorce can be very difficult for a child. Many children who don’t handle their feelings about divorce properly carry them with them into adulthood. Where possible, try to remain amicable with your partner so your children can see that your relationship is still intact, even if it’s changed. Why not consider using a divorce mediator so you can settle out of court? If your children still feel secure, the change will be much easier on them.
There may be times when you children need professional help. That isn’t a failure on your part; it’s just that some issues are above a parent’s pay grade. If you notice your child has become withdrawn, depressed or anxious, it may be time to look for a therapist that can help. Therapists are trained to provide a secure and confidential environment for your child, where they can talk at ease. It may ease your child’s suffering and give you greater peace of mind.
Take Care of Yourself
In order to provide the best care for your family, you need to be on top form. If you neglect to look after yourself because you’re constantly worried about everyone else, you won’t be doing anyone any favours. When a difficult situation arises that throws your family into turmoil you need to remember the basics, like eating, drinking and getting enough sleep. If you don’t, you run the risk of being put out of action at a time when your family needs you the most.