Top Tips – from one parent to another
Today, we are delighted to have a guest post for you. A parent (like us) is sharing her top tips on being a parent in our community. These are the top tips she has found useful and we thought as the Easter holidays have arrived for many of us, it may be a good time to share them.
This week we are sharing her top tips for parents and also for our youngsters. The tips for youngsters are also really valuable for siblings. Their needs and resilience are often over looked or just taken for granted.
Top tips for parents:
- Be open to talking about everything
- If you feel uncomfortable talking about any particular topic, say so!
- Be aware of your own emotions. Emotions can prevent us from doing all sorts of things for fear of feeling embarrassed, inadequate, worrying what other people think, worrying how we ourselves might feel, our own inner critic, all sorts.
- Remember, if reflecting or regretting a decision you made in the past, that you did what you did (or made the decision you did) using the best resources and intentions and knowledge you had at that time – hindsight can be great but not always helpful!
- Self care is so important and if you find yourself constantly ignoring or unable to grab some you time then explore why. Can you really genuinely not find 20 mins or so a day just for you or are there other reasons for not doing so?
- You don’t have to have all the answers
- You can say ‘I don’t know that but I can find out’ or ‘let’s find out together’
- Be aware of giving ‘back handed compliments to your child/young person; the ones where we say things like ‘hey you did a great job there but you forgot to put your clothes away. Or ‘I really enjoyed that meal, next time can you add a bit more cheese’ . What our young people may hear (especially those with invisible disabilities) is “I didn’t tidy my room enough, or ‘that snack meal wasn’t good enough’ This then can potentially translate to ‘I’m not good enough’ It could be because they have a higher sensitivity or it could be that through out their young lives they hear a lot of criticism about their behaviour. Or maybe we just need to deliver the positive message – That meal was delicious. STOP! Or ‘Your room looks great’ STOP!
- Be aware of projection. You are only human and if you have had a bad day that’s OK. By being aware of how you feel can prevent you projecting your bad day unwittingly on to someone else. For example ‘you come home after having been shouted at by your boss, suffering a traffic jam and then a flat tyre and when you open the front door the house is a tip. I’m sure we’ve all done it but our frustration overflows and whoever left the kitchen in a mess gets the full force of our bad day. We’ve met our tipping point! REMEMBER to take a deep breath, walk the other way, count to ten (or whatever number you need) and then revisit the carnage before you. You can potentially have more emotional rescource to deal with the house scenario without bringing in all the differing emotions of your day.
Top Tips for Youngsters
- Talk about what you need
- Don’t avoid people or situations because you fear their reaction. Everyone has experienced someone having a bad day and survived!
- We are only human and will get things wrong and make mistakes. Lets keep talking and discuss a way forward to help and support.
- It’s often not about you , it really isn’t
- Adolescence is a time when you feel the world revolves around you but it really doesn’t!
- If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable with someone – tell someone you trust
- Talk about how you feel with someone you trust.
- Feelings that you have are real and need to be addressed, ignoring them doesn’t make them go away it really doesn’t
What about you?
What tips would you share with another parent? What do you do as a result of stress and what techniques do you use to help? If you could go back to the beginning of your entry into this community, what one tip would have helped you?
Next week, we will be sharing our top tips for practitioners. Feel free to send over any you may have, and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss more tips:
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Debs is one of the co-founders and Directors of Bringing Us Together. She is mum to three child with a variety of SEND and has a great husband.