Responding to major changes, stresses, or crises can be a burden for adults; for many children, such things can be overwhelming. Since children do not have the coping skills that typical adults need to develop throughout their lives, helping children develop coping skills to cope with crises and major stresses is an important responsibility that can benefit children and adults who love them. Rather than just telling them that everything will be okay, it is better to actually talk to them and show how to cope with stress so that they will know what to do when they are stressed as adults and when their children feel stressed. This makes the next few generations more capable of coping.
Here are some simple and effective strategies to help children cope with difficult times:
Every parent knows that children thrive under the active attention of adults. When helping children cope with difficult times, it’s important to keep this in mind and give them extra attention even if they don’t formally ask for it. In times of crisis, it is especially difficult to free up extra time to spend on children-children’s natural tendency is often to lose their way in the shuffle-but this is when children need your attention the most. Here are some ways to help your child cope by providing extra attention:
- Although this is not true in all situations, it is often helpful for children to express their feelings and concerns, ask questions about expectations, and feel that they are not facing things alone. Sitting down, heart-to-heart, and focused on listening can help children practice how to deal with their emotions. This is a healthy coping technique that they can use repeatedly.
- Shared activity
- Some children are unwilling to express their thoughts and feelings directly, and can encourage them to speak out by participating in common activities. Many boys’ parents already know that in order for their son to speak their minds, it may take a fishing game or even a fishing trip. Girls can also benefit from quiet time with their parents. Even if it does not involve personal feelings, spending time with your parents and engaging in comforting activities can also relieve stress well. Knowing how to perform calm activities under pressure is another great coping technique.
- Another benefit of spending extra time with your child is that you can better understand their situation and intervene if necessary. For example, if you see the main signs of withdrawal, difficulty sleeping and eating, or other significant behavior changes, you will know when to seek additional help at home and when to consult a pediatrician or therapist may be a good idea. It is important to understand what is “normal” to your child so that you can spot any important changes in their mood or behavior.
Minimize the impact
Although you cannot fully protect your children from any crisis you face (even if they are not directly involved, children are notorious for accepting stressful situations faced by their parents, just like penetration), you can do other things to maximize Minimize their exposure to stress. This can help them learn how to minimize the stress they will endure later in life-another great coping technique. Here are some strategies you can try:
- Turn off the TV
- This is a good idea if you are facing natural disasters or other highly reported stressors. With online availability, you don’t need to play and replay disturbing scenes in the living room. Even very young children can get extra pressure by noticing the pressure of adults around them and on the screen.
- Maintain routine
- When everything around you seems to be changing (or falling apart), it may be difficult to maintain the integrity of your routine. However, it is a good idea to give it a try. Keeping as many things the same as possible can reassure the kids (and maybe the same for you), so it pays to work hard to keep bedtime, mealtime, and other family activities the same.
- Be careful what you share
- When facing a crisis, children want to know how things will affect them, and they will ask many questions. Not all questions asked require answers, and many questions are best answered within a limited range. Although lying to children is not a good idea, they do not need to know all the details of divorce, natural disasters or serious illness. They only need to know what will affect them, what they directly need to prepare, and what suits their age. When they need to know, they can gradually learn the rest, as they mature and can handle more.
Point the way
For better or worse, when faced with a threat, your child will ask you for help and see what to do. No adult is perfect, but to be a good role model for crisis management does not need to be perfect, you only need to do your best. Adults who respond in a healthy way provide children with a sense of security and stability, and develop healthy coping skills for emulation. Here are some ways to help your child focus on himself.
- Shaping healthy coping skills
- If you feel panic or overwhelmed (which is understandable in a crisis), this will affect your child’s and your own stress level, so now is the time to prepare healthy coping skills. Try to be prepared. Focus on what needs to be done and be gentle with yourself. Don’t forget to breathe. And spend as much time as possible relaxing with your child.This will help you and your child.
- Help people in need
- Even when you are facing a crisis, you can help those who may be worse than you. This type of altruism can benefit your entire family because it can provide all the stress management benefits of altruism, as well as a sense of control, which also helps to relieve stress. In addition, let the kids be part of the solution and know that others outside are like you, and they can help them when they need it, which will make them feel gratified.
Empower your child
Most importantly, remember that you may not be able to change all the situations they face, but you can give them coping skills, help them cope with the problems they face, and improve their coping skills at the same time.