Dealing with the Unexpected

Children (like most humans) are creatures of habit. When something unexpected happens it can throw things upside down in their little world.

Children, especially young children, will struggle to discuss the changes that happened but you will know they are affected by it through their behaviour.

 

The following are some common things that happen when the unexpected happens:

1. Increased Tantrums

2. Non-compliance/Defiance

3. Increased Emotion (tears and whining)

4. Interrupted Sleep

5. Decreased/Increased Appetite

 

Your child is being affected by the unexpected event, Now What???

First, let’s talk about a situation that we went through about a year and a half ago…

Unexpectedly, my husband and father of our then 5-year-old ended up in the hospital for just under a week. This event rocked us all to the core. I wanted to curl up and separate from the world; however, this adorable little 5-year-old had a different plan.

The little guy kept asking the same questions over and over again. He would replay the situation with his words. He would tell anyone that would listen (sometimes that meant he was telling strangers details). This was hard for me to process; however, I knew the importance of letting him talk so I did. We never shut him down. He slowly stopped talking about it on his own.

He asked to stick with his routine. I thought it was best to keep him home from school the day after his dad ended up in the hospital. He wanted to go to school. I then sent him to school. Children thrive on the expected! He was comfortable going to school and wanted to be there. So off to school he went. He also wanted to go to Beavers that night so he did.

He needed to see that Daddy was okay so we went to the hospital to see him but did not stay long. We kept the visit short and sweet.

Then he asked for answers. He needed to know why things happened the way they did so I explained things in terms I knew he would understand. I did not shelter him from the experience. Instead, I involved him and kept things as age appropriate as possible.

We often try to protect our kids. In protecting them we do not give them the information they need. This can be harmful.  Children will start to use their imaginations to come up with reasons that things happen. It is best to keep them in the loop. This really helped our little man.

In time, he was able to move on from the situation. He actually moved on much quicker then the adults did.

 

Steps to Take when the Unexpected Happens:

1. Keep to the regular routine as much as possible

2. Let your child talk (no shutting them down)

3. Do not take any outbursts personally

4. Keep things age appropriate

 

In summary, do not underestimate your child’s ability to handle the situation. Your child will thrive if you keep things age appropriate and as close to their routine as possible. If you have any further comments, please feel free to comment in the comments section under this post.

Parenting Styles: Mindful Parenting

Parenting Styles: Mindful Parenting

Mindful Parenting is a parenting style that is gaining in popularity and understanding. In order to understand this parenting style, I will first talk about what it means to be mindful.

Mindfulness is a practice that has been going on for many years. It has gained momentum and following in Western society in the past few years. Being mindful is the practice of being focused on what is happening right now without dwelling on the past or future. Sound simple? It is not as easy as you think and it takes a great deal of work and practice.

I have been trying to lead a more mindful life in the past 10 months. I will be honest and let you know that I have had some good days and many other days where I have focused on how I have failed at it (not mindful at all). What is helping me now is knowing that right now in this moment I am breathing and I am me. (It has taken me a great deal of time to be okay with just being me!).

So what exactly is Mindful Parenting?

Mindful parenting is when we parent in the moment in a conscious manner. So when you are talking with your child you are focused on the conversation and tuning out the thoughts of everything you should or could be doing. This is also when you are aware of how you want to parent and keep that in your thoughts when your child is being a child.

How do you practice Mindful Parenting?

In my opinion, the main keys to Mindful Parenting are as follows:

1.   Parenting in the moment: Allowing your child to start fresh each day and not dwell on past behaviours. When you parent in the moment you will find that it is important to stick with the boundaries you have set in a respectful and calm manner. There will be many moments throughout your child’s day that will be teachable moments. These are the moments that you are able to teach your child how to act in certain situations and it also gives you an opportunity to learn what your limits are.

2.  Talking about emotions: Children will learn about how to deal with feelings when we teach them by talking about the various emotions they will feel. mindful

3.  Listening: This may seem easy but in reality, it can be really hard. Hearing your child’s opinion without cutting them off in mid-sentence. Practicing reflective listening so your child can hear how you have interpreted what they said. Reflective listening is when you state “I heard you say….”. Then it is important that you acknowledge their feelings by stating something like “I can hear that you are _____ (frustrated, angry, etc)”. This will help your child feel that she is heard and understood.

 

Mindful Parenting is one of the many styles of parenting that are practiced in today’s society. This method may or may not work for you. As with all things to do with parenting, it is important that you parent the way that is most comfortable for you.

Daylight Savings: Coming to an End!

Daylight Savings is coming to an end on November 5, 2017. The clocks will fall back.

We will get to sleep in for an hour!!!

Back to reality…Before I had a child, I got to sleep in. Now it just messes with our lovely schedule 🙁

There are a few different ways you can handle the time change.

1. Do absolutely nothing leading up to the day

Put the time change on ignore until it happens. Then once it occurs you may have to adjust bedtime and nap time so your child does not get overtired. If your child typically naps at 12:30 he will be ready for a nap at 11:30.

Every 3 to 4 days you can push your child’s nap later by 15 minutes until you reach the desired nap time. You will have to do the same with bedtime.

2. Push sleep times later in 15-minute increments leading up to the change

7 to 10 days before the time change you can push your child’s sleep times ahead by 15 minutes. Every 3 days add an additional 15 minutes to the sleep times until you reach the desired 1 hour later sleep time. When the time change occurs you child’s sleep times will be back on his previous schedule.

3. Use it to your advantage

If your child is waking up around 8:00 am and going to bed past 8:00/8:30 pm they will automatically be switched to a 7:00 am wake up and a bedtime of 7/7:30 pm.

4. Change your clocks after you have had your coffee 

There is nothing worse than looking at the clock while it reads 6 am when you are used to it reading 7 am. Postpone changing the clocks as long as you need. I will be waiting until after I have had my morning coffee!

All the best with the time change! Here’s to hoping someday soon there will be no more time changes!!!

 

Join the discussion now about Daylight Savings ending!