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We continue to live in uncertain times. In and amongst all the daily practical and physical concerns, make sure that you are taking time for your family’s mental well-being.

Here are 5 tips for the week.

  • Make sure you have dinner as a family this week. Use this time to check in on one another, focusing on high and low experiences, easy and hard feelings, and sharing supportive and encouraging affirmations.
  • Put down your devices. That includes, you. Connect eye to eye.
  • Role model a useful way of dealing with a big feeling this week. Children learn from what they see. When you feel a big feeling in front of your children, stop and talk through your options and/or explain what you did to help yourself with that feeling.
  • Be consistent with your routine. Life might be upside down but try to focus on what you can control. Try and stick to set wake-up, morning routine, dinner, bed, technology and playtimes.
  • Be consistent with the rules. In tough and uncertain times, it’s easy to let your emotions (stress, guilt, worry) result in an uneven application of the rules. This doesn’t help children learn and stick to the rules.

You are doing so much better than you sometimes give yourself credit for.

Paul Bushell, Psychologist and Author

#raisingkids

www.bushell.co.za

Parenting in uncertain times is a stressful business. Start by focusing on what you can control this week.

Here are 5 ideas to think about this week.

  • Play a breathing game in the car this week. Whenever you stop at a red robot, get everyone to take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth until the light changes.
  • Have a device-free evening. No TV or mobile phones/devices. 
  • Share and include your children in something that you enjoy this week. It’s important that children learn to participate in your life as much you participate in their lives.
  • Age-appropriate chores are good for children.
  • Don’t forget to say ‘I’m proud of you!’ this week.

Paul Bushell, Psychologist and Author

#raisingkids

www.bushell.co.za

Parenting is a wonderfully tough job. Modern parents are often overwhelmed by all the things that they think they need to do. Be careful that this anxiety doesn’t negatively affect the way that you parent. Start with the basics. If your children are well taken care of and feel loved, you are off to a good start.

Here are some tips.

  • Make sure everyone is getting enough sleep. Staying up late and waking up later because your days are mixed up, is not good for children.
  • Do something together outdoors. Move around. Take deep breaths. Have fun.
  • Resist the temptation to fill your child’s schedule. Having quiet and empty moments is good for children. Boredom gives them time to be creative and engage in free play
  • Use ‘no’ only if you mean it. When you say no and then change your mind, you create the impression that no means maybe. There is value in sticking to your ‘no’.
  • Brainstorm with your children 3 things that you and they could do if you were feeling worried or anxious

Paul Bushell, Psychologist and Author

#raisingkids

www.bushell.co.za

Children learn from what they see. It is important that we role model the emotional intelligence skills we hope our children to develop in front of them.

Here are some tips to think about.

  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes in front of your children. This is a great opportunity to show them how to say sorry and make up for your mistake.
  • Build acts of gratitude into your routines such as dinner, bedtime prayers, reciting gratitude lists in the car on the way to school, writing Thank You letters and carrying out Acts of kindness.
  • Walk your talk. Use good manners in front of your children.
  • Take some time off for yourself. By doing this, you are role modelling to your children that it’s important to be kind to yourself, and that all of us can make choices that support our well-being.
  • Acknowledge the people that support your family in front of your children. Give compliments. Use positive language about people.
  • Say please and thank you.

Paul Bushell, Psychologist and Author

#raisingkids

www.bushell.co.za