Helping Kids Cope With Change

Life Coach Darielle Asch from The Wanderlust Age joined us for a virtual chat in our Online Community this week. It was really helpful to hear her thoughts and practical tips for helping our kids cope with change brought about by Self Isolation and Social Distancing. So many great take aways! Check out what she had to say below.

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FOR PARENTS OF YOUNG KIDS

1. If you are worried about your kids worrying

  • Back when we were 5 years old our worries weren’t that large. Yes at this time your kids worries might be exemplified a bit. But they do not have the capacity to worry the way we worry. We have so much knowledge, experience and history of worrying. 9/10 kids are worried about something much smaller.
  • When it comes to bringing things up with your kids -The more relaxed in nature you are when you discuss things the more relaxed they will be. The more relaxed you are in their response, the more relaxed they will be. If you are worried, you might not have the capacity to deal with it in the best way possible. Take a few breaths before chatting to your kids about this stuff.
  • Acknowledge and validate their feelings
  • Give them simple advice, or move their minds onto something else 
  • Don’t be worried about speaking things the wrong way. You can back track, you can explain yourself. Don’t freak out about freaking your kids out. That’ll make it a whole lot worse. Be calm. Know that you don’t have to get this all right.

2. Structure and schedules can help

  • Young kids are active a lot. They very much function in a very structured environment with jam packed days.
  • Keeping them active and motivated is going to be a challenge.
  • Creating a little bit of structure in their day would be beneficial. Perhaps create some kind of a schedule! It can help give YOU structure your day a bit more too! Plus It will also replicate an environment that your child has purpose – because sometimes its the lack of purpose and lack of structure that is a bit confusing for them
  • You can get kids to tick things off the list as they go which is great bit of positive reinforcement.
  • You do not need to structure their day like it would be in a school day
  • Giving them a little bit of choice in there is a good idea too.

3. Make do / keep it simple

  • Don’t freak out and think you need to get them all the things/resources.
  • Be creative and use what you’ve got.
  • 9/10 kids don’t care how they’re doing things, they just care that they’re doing something.

4. Tips on how to talk to young kids about this

  • I think their biggest concern will be their confusion as to why they aren’t getting to hang out with their friends.
  • Relating and connecting with other people is a really important part of their lives.
  • Helping them keep connected with their friends is important – perhaps in other ways they wouldn’t usually do so (ie. write a letter and pop it in their letterbox).
  • Reassuring them that there is other cool/fun/different ways to connect with their friends can help.

FOR PARENTS OF OLDER KIDS

  • Your teens will most likely need help and support processing their emotions
  • Know that Teens have access to things that our younger kids do not and that they are usually constantly connected to their friends and information via technology

1. Open and honest conversations are key

  • Open and honest conversations (whilst also staying relaxed) is important.
  • If you don’t tell them the answers, they will find out from google.
  • If they are asking you hard/scary questions, be honest with them.
  • Perhaps try to have difficult conversations in a relaxed setting, after a few big deep breaths.
  • If they ask a tough question at a time you aren’t feeling calm or capable of responding, be honest and request you discuss this later when you’ve had time to gather your thoughts.

2. Kids need to take breaks from tech

  • Your teens are also more likely to spend more time on social media these days.
  • I would highly suggest introducing tech breaks (ie. inviting them to do active things that have nothing to do with being online)
  • If they are completely attached to their phones get them to utilise them for ‘good’ (ie. get them to download mindfulness apps – or apps that will help calm them rather than overstimulate them)
  • The biggest thing with teens is that constantly being connected and constantly receiving information turns us into over processed humans – our brains are NOT designed to consume large amounts of information that fast! We just cant  process that much information at a time.
  • You need to help them realise this.

 

IMPORTANT REMINDER FOR ALL PARENTS

  • Make sure you are looking after yourself first so you can support/help your kids in a calm and relaxed manner.
  • All our kiddos will be needing to be acknowledged and listened too during this time and its really hard for us to do this if we are exhausted, stressed and overwhelmed.
  • You are not alone in this – There is a lot of support available out there!
  • If you want a little help supporting the beautiful young people in your life? Check out Darielle’s WANDERLUST WARRIOR program – and empowering Self-Development Program for Young People!

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