Stress has become a constant companion in many of our lives over the past few months. Will there be enough food at the grocery store? How long will we have to stay indoors? Will I be able to get my work done with my kids at home?
Unbeknownst to most of us, our kids are picking up on our emotional temperature. If we’re cool, calm and collected, they will benefit. But if we’re hot, bothered and frustrated, they will definitely pick up on that as well. The panic, confusion, anger, or disappointment that you may be feeling during the Coronavirus pandemic can be seen and oftentimes felt by your little ones at home. That added stress, along with a big change in your children’s normal routine, can take a peaceful home and turn it into chaos in no-time.
To ensure that you aren’t stressing your kids out, use these 3-Cs to stop stressing your kids out.
It may be time to take a step back, delve through your thoughts, feelings, and actions over the last few weeks and ask yourself…”Is my stress....stressing my kids out?” I’d encourage you to take a few seconds to look inside yourself. What are the thoughts you are feeling that are stressing you out? What can change *right now*? What can change in the next month? And what is just taking up unnecessary space in your head…eating away at your peace with no resolve in sight? Do a feeling inventory of the emotions you’re experiencing. And if they’re not serving you well, change your perspective and cultivate positive feelings.
Managing our emotions and feelings is important in any normal situation, but it becomes vital when we are cooped up in the house, spending more time together than ever before. Your children will learn how to manage their emotions by watching (and imitating) you. When you’re upset, make it a habit of showing your children what you do to calm down. Take a walk. Take deep breaths. Talk out your feelings in an appropriate way. Show your children how to manage emotions effectively.
It’s time to let go of the stressful triggers that can’t change right now, and work toward managing our emotions in the areas that can in order to show yourself compassion. Self-compassion gives you permission to treat yourself fairly and to take back your power, which will bring more peace to your home, and also show your children that they can get control of their thoughts and feelings during this tough time.