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Sunday 1 November 2020

The End of Year Blues.

And here it is… the end of year is in sight. We never thought this roller coaster year will ever come to an end and with this, we all have endless deadlines, extra stress and even more duties to fulfill. Right there with us, in this mad rush, are our little people… watching us with hopeful eyes, eagerly waiting to be noticed.

We don’t realize the effect that we as rushed grown-ups have on our little people. We have this to–do list that is ever growing and this to-
do list becomes an almost obsession to the point where we become impatient, time obsessed. We lose sight of our families and they become almost invisible on our priority list.

Our children can sense it and when they experience this, their behavior seems to become needy, whiney, emotional, difficult and/or aggressive, because they don’t feel connected to us anymore. When our kids feel disconnected from us, they feel disconnected from themselves and their worlds. So how can we stay connected and survive the end of year blues?

·         Stay connected to your partner. If you are single, choose a specific adult to stay connected to - it can be your best friend, parent or sibling. When we as adults are ‘fed’ in our grown up relationships and feel connected to others, it naturally enhances our ability to stay connected with our children. Having a cup of coffee, a glass of wine or cooking together are some ways to make a quick connection with your adult person on a daily basis.


·         Make a purposeful decision to minimize screen time on your devices. We easily get caught up in our devices and all our kids see are our bowed heads tranced by the device in hand, unaware of what is happening in our world around us. It is now more important than ever, to put your devices down when you are spending quality connection time with your partner and children.


·         While driving in the car together, especially to and from school, switch the radio off and chat - even if you are just making observations of your surroundings.


·         Go for walks (it does not need to be a long walk). Just going for a short, slow walk with your young child, letting them discover their environment and make observations will help them feel connected to you.


·         Keep to your children’s routines. They need predictable days. Our children feel safe when they have structure and routine.


·         Have meals together. As a family it is incredibly important to have no-device meals together - especially during times that are hectically busy. During family meal time everyone can get an opportunity to share about their day, ask and talk about anything.


·         Keep bath times special. It is a wonderful, playful time to spend with your young children. Children tend to open up more about their day when they are relaxed and playing in water.


·         Bedtime is very important. Taking time to read a story and cuddle with your young children will make them feel loved and connected.


·         Check in with your child’s teacher. Most of the times when we are so busy, we do not necessarily notice changes in our children’s behavior, while at school your child’s teacher might have noticed it.


·         Make a purposeful decision to keep your sense of humour and laugh often, even about silly things. Make eye contact and when you speak to your children, say their names.


·         Don’t sweat the small stuff. When we are stressed and task orientated, we do tend to be more serious, focused and that in turn can make us become impatient and careless.

Remember to also take care of yourself. It is important to make time to focus on deep, slow breathing, to eat healthy, drink water regularly, to get enough rest and speak kindly to ourselves and others. Life seems to be more hectic this time of year, so it is vital that we are purposeful in all our actions. You will be surprised at how well you will cope with all the stress and demands of life, when you feel connected to your family.


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