Creating a Calm Family
Thinking your family needs a revamp when it comes to being calm? You aren't alone. Stress is one of the most common presenting issues for people when they show up at their doctor's or therapist's office. No matter where your family is on the chaos continuum, there are some things you can do to get back on track to calm!
There are many factors that combine to determine how a family may be functioning at any given point in time. In short, many roads may lead to chaos for families. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it does give you an idea of some of the issues at play when it comes to family stress:
~ Stressors on the family come from many sources
(environmental, societal, communication patterns, work, personal)
~ Parental temperament
~ Child temperament
~ Coping skills available and known to the family
~ Self-regulation abilities of each family member
~ The resilience of each family member
3 Things You Can Do
There are many things you can do to eliminate some of the causes of stress in your family. We've addressed this issue in the past, also. You can see earlier ideas here.
Now, we give you three things that you can start implementing right away:
1. Parents Set the Tone
It's up to us, the people in the big bodies with the big brains, to set the tone in the family. We create the family climate by how we deal with stress, adversity and the daily grind. Our attitudes towards life and the daily struggles we all face has huge impact on how our kids will react and respond, in turn. They are always watching us for cues about how to handle things. Stressors will always be present in our lives. We need to find the ways to tackle them and lessen the impact they have on our lives. If your stress level seems insurmountable, learn some new skills by seeing a therapist, hiring a life coach or reading books specifically made to help with such concerns. We are never too old to learn how to better deal with the sticky situations in life.
2. Teach Confidence Through Life and Social Skills
Conflict and challenges are inevitable. We cannot protect our kids from these things, nor should we. Giving kids life skills to combat conflict, disappointment, fear and uncertainty will go a long ways towards giving them an advantage across their lifespan. The ability to handle life's frustrations is a confidence-builder. It equips kids with a can-do attitude. It allows them to enjoy life more! Solid social skills are crucial to our success, and contribute to our academic pursuits, as well. Kidlutions has several resources available for use in homes, classrooms and therapy/counseling offices.
3. Teach Self-Regulation Skills
Once we get our own heads in order, and feel armed with effective ways to deal with our own stress, we are much more able to help our kids get to calm. Emotions can be messy. If you find yourself regularly dealing with frustrated, irritable, overly-sensitive kids, it's time to double-up on teaching calming skills. We've tons of ideas curated on our parenting, play therapy and feelings boards over on Pinterest. Swing by and peruse anytime! Cranky kid? You can also check out our post about reflexology (an old fashioned foot rub for kids) HERE.
A Good Start
These three ideas will get you off to a really good start when it comes to creating a calm family. What else would you add?
If you need resources to help you help your kids navigate the trickier, more challenging things in life...find help in our "Feelings Shop" of digital downloads at: bitly.com/kidsfeelings
Wendy Young, LMSW, BCD, is the founder of Kidlutions and co-author of BLOOM: 50 Things to Say, Think and Do with Anxious, Angry and Over-the-Top Kids. She is the creator of numerous workbooks and resources to help from the preschool through the teen years. Follow her on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook! She'd love to see your smiling face there!