Strong Families #5

We are in a period when many of us are spending more time with our families than ever before, which has advantages and disadvantages. This series of blog posts will try to address common concerns that can arise in periods of stress, and to provide solutions to keep your family safe and healthy.

As the dangers of COVID-19 continue to persist throughout the country, many of us are getting a better grasp over how the pandemic has shifted our personal family dynamics. Some of us have been able to find strength in how close their unit has become, and just as many have found this closesness to be a source of stress.

Regardless of our individual circumstances, it’s clear how crucial good communication is to maintaining a peaceful, sane household. Trying to coexist with someone who can’t or won’t communicate their feelings and needs – whether it’s a child, a partner, or even a co-worker – is like banging your head against a wall. We only have so much control over how the people in our lives communicate with us, but it’s important to remember that, as parents, we have a responsibility to teach our children how to communicate clearly. Without that guidance, they will find it more difficult to recognize and regulate their own emotions, hindering their ability to establish and maintain relationships.

Examine what you do as a parent to teach open, clear communication to your children. Take a moment to yourself and run through the following scenarios:

  • Ask yourself, what do you do when you feel sad or scared? How do you talk to your child about those feelings?
  • Consider what is different about parenting in a time on uncertainty? Do you let your child watch the news? What information are you sharing bout current events?
  • Remind yourself how do you help your child express his or her emotions?
  • Think of an adult you loved as a child. What was it about the relationship with that
    adult that made it so important? What elements of that relationship an you replicate with your own child/ren?
  • Look for opportunities to engage your children’s communication skills. Playing age-appropriate board games is a good way to help them develop the ability to self-regulate their emotions.

Through better communication, we can all help build better homes and families. For more information and resources, check out our website!

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