The coronavirus scares your child.
“Mom, are we safe?”
“What do you mean?”
“Will we get sick too?”
Disaster news is everywhere. TV, newspapers, social media and even billboard reminders are appearing in some places.
Children are home. Parents are home. Everyone is scared.
Today's 3 Practical Parenting Steps:
- Review the 9 listening skills.
- Learn the drawing technique by using it to calm yourself first.
- Teach the drawing technique to your child.
9 Listening Skills Effective Parents Need
Review the following listening tips:
- Listen with direct eye contact, a caring smile and both ears.
- Ask questions to be sure you understand.
- Be patient. Give enough time for your child to form thoughts.
- Repeat your child's ideas in your own words. Follow up with, “Is that correct?”
- Encourage continued sharing by saying, “Tell me more.”
- Walk in your child's shoes. With empathy try to feel what he’s feeling.
- Avoid interrupting or jumping to conclusions. Listen to the end.
- Share your thoughts after your child's finished..
- Begin by reflecting feelings. “It sounds like you’re (upset or sad or confused, etc.).”
You Are the Best Counselor for Your Kids
As a counselor for many years, I’ve used the drawing strategy below with children and adults. It works. Why? Because it's a unique way of understanding feelings, especially fears.
When you listen well, teach practical skills and show caring, your child trusts you and feels loved. Love and trust make you the most powerful counselor of all.
9 Ways Parents Can Calm Themselves and Their Children
- Ask your boy or girl to, “Draw a picture of the fear.”
- Probe Gently: “What does your picture mean to you?”
- Say, “Tell me more,” several times until you hear all the anxious thoughts.
- Say, “Draw how you would like to feel.” Then say, “Tell me about your new picture.”
- Suggest, “Let's brainstorm what you could do to make your picture come true.” Wait patiently for your child’s ideas first.
- Say, “Write down 3 small ways you can make your positive picture come true.
- Say, “Pick one little step to try now."
- Instruct your child, "Visualize your new picture clearly. Feel it and give it a positive title. Then post it on the fridge." Give your child all the time he or she needs.
- Praise your child for calming his fear.
Discuss the second and third small steps in the following days to reinforce over time what has been learned.
Drawing an optimistic picture gives your child power over the fear. By visualizing it, feeling it and giving it a positive title, your child changes his scary mindset. Posting it on the fridge becomes a strong reminder to "stay calm and carry on." Use this technique as often as your child needs.
Consider applying it for any painful emotion your child may experience. You could even use it as a home schooling strategy.
You might like this video because it also reinforces the steps:
How Parents Help Anxious Kids Feel Confident
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Thank you so much.
With warm wishes,
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