Hands up, who is tired?
Hands, feet, and all body parts up, if your kids are exhausted? Yep, same here!
A long school term, festive season excitement or perhaps that should be festive season stress and over scheduling, I am guessing are all reasons why tantrums are up, crying for nothing is on the rise and general grumpiness is present.
The biggest question is what as parents can we do about it as we enter the ‘most magical time of the year’. Here are a few of my thoughts that might help to make the difference to your sanity.
If in doubt bring everyone back to breathing, it might sound simple and it is but at times of high emotion, we often forget the power of the breath.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, for approximately 4 breaths. Teach your kids to do the same.
Take things out of the diary
I am not asking you to cancel Christmas but at this time of year, we pack our families diaries so full that there is no down time. We all need to recharge our batteries, and ‘un-scheduling’ can be a step in the right direction. Can you plan a pyjama day?
Our children need us to be present, how can you seek ways to connect with your kids before you need to correct them?
Let them know how you are feeling?
It is much better that you tell your kids straight how you are feeling than letting them guess or perhaps push your buttons and then you explode, for example, use ‘I feel’ statements, ‘I feel frustrated, because we are all tired, we need to find a better way to show each other we are exhausted, any suggestions, as tears are not working for me’.
Let your children feel their emotions
Don’t be too quick to stop your children feeling, instead, I encourage you to acknowledge what is going on for them, e.g. ‘I see you are upset, I understand you are tired’. Give them a chance to calm down and then talk to you about what is going on, don’t try and talk to them while they are in the heat of the moment, it might not end well!
Don’t say things you won’t follow through on
A big one is that when we are tired, we tend to make threats that we have no intention of following through with, such as, ‘I am going to cancel Christmas’. If you make a threat like this, be prepared to follow through, or make a consequence that is easier to enforce, such as, ‘continue fighting with your sister and you loose 15 minutes of screen time’ much easier to manage, and to add a further 15 minutes to if the fighting continues or perhaps to gift back time if the situation improves.
Wishing you all a very happy, calm and joyous festive season but don’t forget to breathe!
This Blog was originally written for the Wharfedale and Craven Mumbler.