With experiencing the Covid 19 pandemic and horrible death of George Floyd and resulting anti-racism demonstrations, it is only natural for parents to feel anxious, stressed—and even depressed. If you are a parent, you likely already know how hard it can be to keep your children’s spirits uplifted when your own spirits are feeling down. Let’s take a closer look at how you can keep up your children’s spirits even when you’re not feeling great.
Give yourself time to unwind and de-stress
With children staying at home for the near future, it can be very easy to find yourself without any alone time to decompress, get your thoughts together, and simply relax. You should make some time every day—even more than once a day, if necessary—to unwind, reflect and focus on the positive change taking place. You will have a much easier time helping your children feel better when you have recovered some mental and physical energy.
Here is a quick relaxation set of exercises from Hamilton Health Sciences:
Make it a point to do something fun with your kids every day
Children are likely feeling just as worried about the future right now as their parents, and it’s important to help children feel that everything is going to be okay. You can help your children see the bright side by making it a special point to do something fun every single day. You can go on a nature walk, draw or paint a picture together, organize old baby shoes to donate, or even hand your kids an easy-on apron and bake cookies together.
Ambassador Katelyn Faulkner and her little one out on a hike.
Practice positive affirmations in front of your children
Children will look to you to in order to model your behavior. Even if you’re feeling stressed, practicing positive affirmations will help your children see the bright side every day. You can keep these as simple as you noticing the sky looks so clear and blue and pointing this out as “The sky is really beautiful today!” Or when you cook a dinner you’re proud of, compliment yourself: “I’m really proud of the dinner I made today.” These positive affirmations will be mimicked by your kids, helping them to feel happier even in this time of great stress.
Some tips on keeping it positive :
Be aware of how you respond to events or situations in front of your kids
Knowing that your children are watching your every move, being extra careful about how we react or respond to certain events and situations in front of your children. It's difficult reading a negative article on the current pandemic or political situation when it upsets you and not saying or do anything negative or aggressive is difficult. Feeling like you need to comment on the situation is normal - expressing your thoughts in a neutral and levelheaded manner is challenging when you're triggered. Children will notice you're getting agitated and upset, and this will eventually reflect in their own behavior.
Remember: everyone is very stressed and upset right now due to the seriousness and change coming in the world as a result. Change is needed. No question. It’s okay to take a few steps back when you need to unwind in order to ensure that you are able to give your “best self” to your children.
The Stonz Team