From the Counsellor’s Desk
As we find ourselves in a new phase of life, with many things becoming the new normal, you will find yourself having to wear many different hats. This will be challenging at times, but rewarding in the end. This will also allow for your child(ren) to become reacquainted with who you are, your hopes and aspirations for their futures and create a solid foundation for relationships that teenage years, work commitments and other factors impede on at times. Herewith, I would like to provide some basic information to assist you and your child(ren) during this period of time.
Getting to know your limits:
- Children will test boundaries, explore yours and also make sure to add some flexibility for those pestering moments
- Set up a timetable of when you are what (Mom/dad, educator, counsellor, cook, friend), make sure to include ‘me time’
- Divide roles between adults if you are able to and assign chores to your children
- Dedicate a space that belongs only to you
- Question your intended consequences for actions: are you acting out of anger, fear, frustration or any other negative emotion (talk to children about emotions you may be experiencing).
Get to know your child(ren)’s temperament and limits:
- Is your child introverted or extroverted – Introverts make sense in their inner world, needing space to be alone to recoup their energy while extroverts make sense in the outer world requiring contact with others to recoup energy
- Mood – is your child naturally happy and optimistics or does your child at times find themselves struggling with low mood and thus seem pessimistic
- Adaptability – Is your child able to naturally adapt to new environments, situations, challenges etc. or do they require some guidance
- Approach and withdrawal – does your child seek assistance when confused or do they withdraw and keep themselves busy with ‘busy work’
- Energy – does your child have low or high energy levels.
Note: Always take into consideration your child’s age, mental state, academic needs, and adaptability. Make sure to take note of any changes and let me know how I can assist, I could do this via email with ideas as to how to successfully navigate through this time or through a quick Google Meet.
Younger children often mimic what they see: they study their parents, their siblings and at times cannot discern what is fact or fiction (they will try to fly like Peter Pan, talk underwater like Ariel, jump off things like Mowgli and the list can go on).
- Make green, amber and red zones for them with stickers or coloured paper. Explain that in green zones they are free to wander, amber requires careful thought and consideration and red means Rarely Enter Danger zone
- Play marco polo, in 5-15min intervals depending on age, for when we can’t have four eyes on them, it shows that we are still actively thinking of them and also looking out for their well-being
- Explain possible dangerous situations and try not to confuse them. For example, rough play can be good fun and tire them out but if showing them that it’s ok to flip people and they attempt to flip the baby or the cat can end up in a situation that they might not be prepared for
- Get them involved – Home economics (pick up toys, do the dishes – start with spoons, sort laundry into colours), Math (count the kitchen tiles, 3 hugs for a treat, 5 for a movie), English and second language (name objects in a given room – change every day), Art and design (use recyclable materials to make cool things), PSHE (teach a life lesson as it arises) and so on.
I hope these ideas help. Keep sane, keep safe and please do not hesitate to contact me should your child need additional emotional support firstname.lastname@example.org.