Adults are not the only ones who are being affected by this recent, untimely change - our children are too. It is very difficult to go from our normal everyday routine of having the freedom to go out at our leisure to being told we must stay in. Though we know why we have to stay in, it is to keep safe, protect our families and to protect others. It is natural for our children to display certain behaviours out of frustration and I've come up with a few tips to help you with this.
1. Communicate with your child(ren) and get to the root cause of the problem, especially if they're old enough to talk. Ask them how they are feeling and find out what is happening in their world.
2. Explain to them that what is happening will not last forever and soon we will all be free to get on with our lives. Let them know that it is frustrating for you too, but reassure them that together you can get through it.
3. Set them some attainable challenges as a form of distraction and to give them something to do. Give them praise once they have completed the challenges and offer encouragement and support if they are struggling.
4. Put aside your work and schoolwork and sit down together doing something fun. Maybe watch a film, go for a little walk or do a fun activity together. 1-1 bonding time is essential because it will help you to really spend time with your child(ren). If you have more than one child, break up your day to accommodate all of them.
5. Use reflection time as a last resort if your child(ren) are just not listening or insisting on being defiant. Explain why they need to have reflection time, how long it will be for and what you would like them to think about during their reflection time. Usually reflection time should be according to their age, so if they are 5, they can have reflection time for 5 minutes. This involves them being still, sitting down and reflecting on their behaviour.
6. Remove toys and personal gadgets if necessary. Once you do this, explain to your child(ren) why you have taken each item away and let them know they can get them back, but they will have to earn it. The way to earn back each item is to; A. Follow the rules.
B. Do good listening.
C. Be kind to others.
D. Help around the house.
E. Do their homework.
* these are all according to their age and what they've not been doing. For example, if they have been refusing to their homework, then you may decide the way to earn back their items is by doing their homework, doing good listening and following the rules.
7. Ensure that you listen to your child(ren) when they are communicating with you and expressing themselves. Children just like adults like to feel that they are being listened to. It shows you value what they are saying.
8. Joe Wicks @thebodycoach can be found on YouTube and Instagram. He does daily exercise routines that are relatively simple to follow. You and your child(ren) will be able to burn off some steam and let go of any bad energy.
9. Involve your child(ren) with some of your household chores, including cooking. Your child(ren) will be able to learn a new skill and this will be some more bonding time with them.
10. You can only do your very best and if you are reading this, I already know that you are trying. Please do not beat yourself up because that will not do anyone any good. You are only one person and your best has always been good enough, that does not change now.