Dealing with emotions can be exhausting for parents. For many families the pandemic isn’t over yet and they are looking for ways to handle tantrums and big feelings. Today I am sharing my top 5 tips for weary parents and caregivers.
1. Take care of yourself
As a parent of caregiver you can not give when you are on empty. You’ll burn out from exhaustion and some of you may already be at that point now. It is not selfish to care for your needs, it is essential. Check in with yourself. reach out and ask for help if you need it.
2. Be Proactive about dealing with emotions
No one wants to be blindsided by a meltdown. Knowing that your family is struggling right now with the effects of the pandemic, or if you are going through some hard times, means that you need to be prepared. There are many ways to teach your children coping skills and what it means to check-in with yourself. You can use picture books on emotions or work together as a family to build your tool box of resources.
I offer two emotion coaching classes. One is designed more for parents to help manage their own triggers and how to handle meltdowns. Another is specifically for kids and families to help with big feelings.
3. Meet what needs you can
Every member of your family has a lot of need. Often those needs collide and we realize that we can’t do everything. Some needs, such as being social, are not easy to meet during stay at home orders. However, if you can do your best to care for yourself and your family in other ways, they will be able to handle things a bit better. Making sure everyone is eating well, sleeping and getting exercise. Safely getting in social interactions when you can and looking for creative ways to get those needs met.
4. Offer Empathy when dealing with emotion
Meltdowns and tantrums are inevitable. Emotions build up and spill out, often at the most inconvenient times. In those moments your child just wants to be loved, cared for, listened to and understood. Offering empathy shows that you can relate to how they are feeling in the moment. Then you can work towards calming down.
Later when everything has calmed down a little you can problem solve, correct, and make any repairs.
5. Focus on Connection
As parents have a lot going on and can get bogged down by all the details of their day. Sometimes they focus more on the outward behaviour than the relationship. I encourage you to focus more on connection before correction. Your child needs unconditional love. They know when they have done the wrong thing. But in the moment they want to know that you love them no matter what. Corrections and repairs can be made when everyone has calmed down. It is easier to calm down when you feel safe.
I was thrilled to share my 5 Top Tips for Dealing with emotions and pandemic tantrums on YourTV Halton I’d love to know which tip you feel is most helpful for your family right now.
Dealing with these big feelings and pandemic stress is really hard. I know it has been really helpful for me to chat with someone. Here is my calendar if you’d like to book a free call to see if there is anything I can do to help.