Editor’s Note: As we approach that wonderful time of year when the leaves change colors and scents of pumpkin and spice fill the air, significant changes to daily routines may deliver a healthy dose of stress and anxiety to unsuspecting—and even the most well-informed—parents. Here are some helpful reminders from our friends at USEP-OHIO to help you stay focused and grounded this fall.
Parent Tips are provided by the United States for Effective Parenting-Ohio, Inc. as a tool to assist parents, teachers, grandparents and all who help to care for and to raise our children. For more Parent Tips refer to the links at the bottom of this Parent Tip.
USEP-OHIO PARENT TIP
By Cindy McKay, www.usep-ohio.com
Most of us experience a real shock when August rushes headlong into September, which slips into October and November, bringing on new schedules, shorter days, rain, homework, and the pain of life transitions for ourselves and for our children! It is no longer summer! I was not ready to give it up!
The kids in our neighborhood are still bemoaning homework, new responsibilities, and trying to squeeze it all into the day. Parents are facing the challenges of work and the need to help with school and community issues—but also the specter of being ready for the holidays looming on the horizon—not that far away! Teachers are doing their best to be excited about having a job, and hoping that the budgets hold out, the programs expand and are not cut anymore.
Most adults are facing challenges of trust and trying to keep a positive frame of mind when our country’s leadership seems so negative and uncertain. We want to trust the future. We can structure our days and influence the kids and adults around us by being hopeful.
It is a good reminder that we parents, grandparents, teachers, and all adults are needed to help provide a firm foundation of hope for the future. Kids thrive when they know what to expect. Adults thrive when they too can trust in the future. So what can we do to provide that framework of trust?
1. Be Positive
Take a few minutes to mention the good things each day with your children or students. Ask them to note one good thing that happened each day and share it.
2. Get Organized
Remind yourself and the youngsters by keeping track on a daily calendar. Encourage them to maintain a daily routine, and do it yourself.
3. Make Time
Make time for the things you enjoy and encourage kids to do the same. Stay connected with family and friends, sharing feelings, fears and concerns. Children need to see that we value connection in our lives.
4. Turn off Anxiety Triggers
TV, Internet, radio—if they make you anxious. Help kids do the critical thinking that gives them understanding; reporting is often loud and uses alarming language to get our attention. That also goes for talking amongst the adults about school, work, community, local and national politics, and events. I have trouble enough dealing with constant, frustrating updates on my phone and computer!
5. Do Your Best
Do your best for the children in your life; you all need to take good care of yourselves. Firmly demand that you and the youngsters in your life get adequate rest, exercise, and eat regular, balanced meals.
6. Enjoy the Children
Delight in the everyday moments that bring you joy. Consider talking to a trusted health professional or seeking other professional help if you have more questions or need support. It is natural and may add to your set of parenting or teaching communication and personal skills!
7. Meditate, Breathe Deeply, Pray
Do the things you need. Research proves they are healing!
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