At Act for Kids, we strive to see families strong, together and thriving. We know that sometimes parenting can be tough which is why we’ve chatted with our team of therapists and psychologists to put together our best tips on keeping your family strong in 2018
1. Build your support network.
It’s important that parents put time and effort into building their own support network of people around them that can step in when they need some help! It might be friends, aunties, uncles, grandparents or even neighbours – but it’s crucial to have people around you and your kids for moments when you need advice, a break or even just to talk! You can’t pour from an empty glass – we need to have self-compassion and be a little easier on ourselves. Allowing yourself to rely on your support network from time to time, and spending some time focused on yourself will help you be a better parent.
2. Talk about feelings with your kids – every day!
Make conversations about feelings a regular part of your day and not just your kids feelings but yours as well. Use language appropriate for their age and encourage your kids to share how they are feeling about their day, a certain event that might be coming up or even a fight with a sibling. Teaching your children to use their words to express emotions can help to minimise physical outbursts. Teaching your kids about feelings and that they might feel like in their bodies is a great way to help them identify early warning signs of unsafe feelings as well. Sharing with your children when you are feeling excited, sad, tired or happy shows your little ones that feeling lots of different emotions in a day is normal. Your children watch how you manage your own feelings and your coping strategies teach them how to manage difficult feelings
3. Spend time doing ‘no-screen’ activities.
We really don’t want to jump onto the ‘limit screen time’ bandwagon but what we do want to do is encourage you to spend time with your children doing activities that keep them occupied and can hold their attention without being on the iPad or xBox. Reading books with your kids is great for them and for you. Sign up to your local library and you can loan books and puzzles and even board games. Walk to your local park and let your kids burn some energy on the playground instead of popping them in front of the TV. There are lots of things you can do with your kids to balance their screen time during the week.
Keep an eye on your inbox for next month’s tips on keeping your family strong and together!