Sometimes we stick values to how ourselves & our kids, what we should be doing or how the kids ‘should be‘ and behaving.
The last two weeks, I have taught over 200 children from various schools and there seems to be a general theme. They are all very tired. (So too are the parents and teachers). Speaking to a parent last night, it prompted me to write this blog.
When children are tired, a) they probably dont realise that they are tired and need a rest. And b) they don’t know how to communicate this to adults. All they understand is that things around them are different/difficult. That when they suddenly want something or do something and mum or dad are less co-operative or telling them off. And likewise for the parents, where they have been busy trying to get the family organised etc, they are suddenly faced with a child who is more irritated and grumpy than normal.
The key is to recognise that the last few weeks have been challenging. They have come back from holidays where they perhaps have had the freedom to rest and play as they felt suit and now, for the last month or so they have had to adjust to a new routine – of early morning starts, keeping up with after school activities and appontments etc etc. So there is no wonder why by week 5, they are more weary and less co-operative than before.
So, the first step is to recognise how they are feeling & seeing from their perspective. Children not only dont recognise easily how they feel or why they feel that way, but they also can be fairly new to learning to communicate this clearly to adults. So be patient with them. Help them acknowledge how they feel, then give them the freedom and means to express this.
I have found the following a great way to help children acknowledge and express themselves:
Ask them a) what’s happened during the day?
– see their day from their eyes. The highlights, their traumas etc. Dont judge or analyse their day, just be there to listen to their perspective. As it is ‘their reality’.
b) how did it make you feel?
– help them to connect to their emotions. This is healthy, too often I work with kids who suppress their emotions and then it just boils inside and manifests as angry (explosive) or depressive (implosive) states of being.
c) what can we do about it?
– give them options to help follow the movement of what they feel. Help them associate appropriate actions for the emotions they feel. If they confirm they are tired, suggest some low energy activities to help them calm and relax. Or even let them know that you are tired too, and suggest ‘relaxing’ or resting together.
As too often or not, as parents, we can feel the only time we can ‘rest’ is when the kids are asleep – perhaps, this is a good time to create a regular resting time together. Creating time for resting & relaxing in our busy daily routines.
This helps children register that ‘rest’ & ‘relaxing’ is a strong part of a healthy lifestyle – setting a solid foundation for life.
Hope this helps, and drop me an email to let me know how you go. I’d love to hear of your stories!
love & light,