DIFFICULT RELATIONSHIPS WITH CHILDREN IN CRISIS SITUATIONS
Relationships with children can become difficult in crisis situations. Moments of profound uncertainty, such as the one we are still going through, have put parents in front of new and different difficulties: the lack or reduction of work, fears for the health situation, the accumulation of care tasks for their children once shared with school or grandparents. In the same way, the children have also lived, and many still continue to live, with growing tiredness and agitation, the compression of their sociality imposed by the rules of physical distancing.
In this situation , parents feel strongly under pressureand the risk is not being able to better manage the whim or situations of tension or conflict with their children. When stress takes over, it can happen that you lose control and say or do things that you regret. When a child does something they shouldn’t have done, sometimes the response as a parent can be to raise their voice, scold, give punishments, and sometimes even spank. Even if you don’t want to behave like this, you don’t really know what else to do. Very often we just react to situations instead of making reasoned choices .
RELATIONSHIP WITH CHILDREN: 3 USEFUL TIPS
Here are 6 useful tips to improve the relationship with children . These are simple strategies that can help parents manage possible stressful situations.
1) BE INDULGENT WITH YOURSELF
There are no perfect parents , every situation and relationship is unique. If you think that the tense situation with your child is getting out of hand, give yourself time just for yourself to reflect or just to breathe and calm down, ask your partner for help or seek a comparison with friends and relatives. Asking for help or a confrontation is not an act of weakness but of profound awareness.
2) ADVANCE AND REDIRECT
All children behave badly at times and in a situation of distancing and revolution of the daily routine like the one we live in, they can be even more reactive than usual. An annoyed response from your daughter who is usually always polite , or the snout holding your son in front of the TV can all be considered small warnings that the situation can escalate and explode into a conflict between siblings or with you parents. Take these signsrequires the parent to be very aware of noticing mood changes in their children and asking some initial questions (will they be hungry, sleepy, tired, has something happened with some friend or acquaintance?) and actively try to redirect the shot while it is on time . Sometimes it is true that children do not show signs that they will do something they should not have done or that the situation will degenerate shortly thereafter but sometimes the signs are there and the parent can pick them up. In this way you can easily distract the little ones by starting to tell a story or singing a song together or arriving in the room with a new game trying to distract both the brothers who were about to start arguing. Sometimes we just have to try to anticipate events and find small strategies that can change their course.
3) SAY NO TO THE WHIM BUT YES TO THE CHILD
Each child and each parent-child relationship is unique but one thing we can give you for certain is that the first step to effective discipline is based on the parent’s ability to tune into the child’s emotions. Tuning in means recognizing the child’s emotions , with non-verbal cues such as physical contact, facial expression, and non-judgmental listening (although what your children do may make you angry or upset). Only once you have been able to emotionally tune into the child (and once he has calmed down) can you try to discuss what happened. Getting in tune does not mean being permissive but rather the opposite. Create a climate and an empathic connectionit must go hand in hand with the creation of precise rules and limits. Children need rules, a predictable environment, to know what to expect from mom and dad but they are unlikely to understand the rules or cooperate with you parents if they are upset, shaken or angry.