We have reached the end of the year – the last stretch where pressure is running high and we are all just trying to get to the December holidays with our sanity intact. Our little ones are feeling the pressure as well – exams, assessments, sports gradings and award ceremonies. We should help them celebrate the small victories and talk about their disappointments. Let’s help them through the tough emotions that they might experience this time of year.
It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and add extra pressure without realising it. We should help them realise what is important – we are all special in our own way and that all of us need to be celebrated. Experts say that we shouldn’t over-praise kids but rather praise them in the correct way. We should be celebrating progress and effort, “I can see you are really trying hard and putting in a big effort” or “you really are mastering the art of reading or puzzles”.
When the disappointment does hit or the pressure of performing leads to anxiety, help them calm down by using the 5×5 Grounding method. Have them mention 5 things they can see, 4 things they can hear, 3 things they can touch, 2 things they can smell and 1 thing they can taste. Help them process the disappointment by naming the emotion – “Are you feeling mad, sad or disappointed?”. Don’t tell them to not feel them but rather assure them that feeling these emotions are okay and valid. Work through them together and when the time is right, help them brainstorm ideas on how to improve and make a game plan.
A wise friend of mine, who’s kids are a bit older, was telling me about a book she is reading. Unfortunately, watching the kids and being interrupted 517 times during that one conversation I don’t remember the name of the book or the exact words. It came down to children having their own blueprint and we as parent shouldn’t try to enforce our idea of who we think our kids are, or should be. We should merely be guiding them, with love and support, so that they can become their true self and reach their potential. In the end, we all just want our kids to be healthy and happy.
Some inspiring quotes to remember
- Every child is a different kind of flower and all together, makes this world a beautiful garden.
- Every child is gifted. They just unwrap their packages at different times.
- Don’t compare your child to others. There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon. They shine when it is their time.