Today I want to share some ways that clients of mine are finding to live IN this difficult time, as a way to get through it.
These are members of my online private coaching practice, who are going through likely very similar things to what you’re going through – living with cranky or clingy kids, uncertainty about the future, and anxiety about everything from family life to our society .
As we get started I also want to remind you, NPC Summer Camp starts in just two days! I share more about the program below, and you can click here to join the Ninja Parenting Community.
1. Cranky or clingy kids, limited patience.
I am hearing from many people whose kids are extra cranky, or extra clingy, right now.
Whether their sleep schedules are disrupted (some because of super-long days here in the US and Canada, some because of a self-described “too much screen time” situation, and some… just because), or they’re going through a growth spurt, or absorbing a parent’s anxiety, it’s a tough time to be a kid right now!
It’s also a tough time to be the parent of a kid right now, with our own levels of high emotion and in many cases anxiety.
We can feel like our patience is already thin enough. The last thing we need is a child that feels permanently stuck to us, or who can’t stop whining, or fighting with their siblings.
If you’re feeling like that, first of all, let me offer you a huge hug!
Here is some language to use when you’re dealing with cranky or clingy kids on limited patience:
– First of all, I suggest helping your child understand that “sometimes, we are just in a “waiting place,”” an expression that comes up in the Dr. Seuss book Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
– Secondly, share what you do, when you feel the way that your child is feeling.
“I know exactly how you feel! When I feel like that I…”
(Sometimes I will use humor, and finish that sentence with “… drop to the floor, and have a kicking and screaming temper tantrum!” Kids think it’s funny to imagine their parents, having a meltdown in this hugely expressive way. Other times I will say what I think might be useful for them: “… make a list of what I’m grateful for, or take a nice cool shower.”)
Here is what one member of the Ninja Parenting Community wrote into our forums when I shared those ideas above:
“This is so good. I needed the hug, and the assurance that we will get through it… The “waiting place” language is so helpful. It gives me a way to drop the subject when I can tell it’s time to drop it. At the same time it lets me be supportive, assuring [my seven-year-old] that we’ll come back to it.”
That’s what we’re going for – the assurance that we will get through it, which helps stretch that limited patience just a little bit more.
And the language to help us be supportive for our kiddos.
(NPC members, click here to read the whole post, from our Parent Meltdown Corner.)
2. Uncertainty about the future.
“15 weeks into isolating at home and it’s lonely. Even at the office, we can’t eat lunch or take walks together and masks are on if we are away from our desks.
I miss my friends. [My four-year-old] is clingy, misses his friends.
Anyone else feeling the isolation hard this week?”
When one of our members posted these words in our NPC Forums, I wrote in first and here’s what I said:
“I am raising my hand real hi – yes! This is hard.
“There is just the surreality of it all, remembering your mask when you go to the farm stand, upsetting little altercations that you witness in line at the pharmacy. Never shaking hands (never mind hugging).
“Earlier on, when my weekly wellness meeting went online, I was in tears, not sure I’d be able to make it through (this was like week three! Clearly I’ve done okay : )
I said to the meeting leader “I just WISH we could all be together!”
What she said in response has gotten me through:
“We ARE all together. And yes, it’s different, and yes it’s hard in a lot of ways. But we are still together.”
What I most want to communicate today is the idea that, even though it’s hard and there’s so much uncertainty, it is possible to be happy in little ways.
In fact I believe, especially as we are raising children, finding little ways to be happy is what will get us through.
Finding ways to LIVE now, in this, is what will get us through.
Kids need our positivity.
Here is what our members said about staying positive:
“I was reminded today in several ways of some of the beautiful connections in my life.
With this community – opening this response from you just made me feel so seen and heard. You are so good at that!”
“I do really value being SEEN here.
Here are my priorities:
– My spiritual well-being
– My mental health
– My connection with my kids (which is best nurtured here in NPC)”
When you’re feeling the uncertainty, do your best (I know it’s hard) to remember your own need to stay positive, your own need for spiritual well-being, mental health, and connection with loved ones.
Remember your own need to be SEEN.
3. Anxiety, whether about our family, our future, or the world at large.
My husband often says “the devil sits right on your shoulder and whispers bad stuff in your ear. But the angels are harder to spot.”
I’m hearing lots from members about the many anxieties they have.
Frequently the question I am asked is “how do I go on? How can I keep going?”
The way I look at it is the devil is whispering all those awful things about “what you should be worried about.”
And while it’s necessary and important to acknowledge the bad stuff – because that’s the only way to fix it – while we are looking at those issues head on, without bias, we can often find ways to keep going only by looking away from them.
By looking towards something positive.
By finding things to celebrate and be grateful for, no matter how small.
One member shared recently about the successful Talking Stick Meeting she mediated, solving a fight that almost came to biting between her two daughters.
Another shared about helping her three-year-old “learn how to handle her emotions.”
I shared about the exciting day in lockdown when I gave my 19-year-old a haircut – that he liked!
My point is, one way to keep going even in uncertain times, even with lots of anxiety, is to do our best to be in the moment, experiencing something enjoyable.
Bringing our kids in, even helping them solve their problems (or simply making sea turtle cupcakes together : ) can give us the will, and the energy, to keep going.
One way I’m helping members: I’ve planned something fun!
I created a program called NPC Summer Camp, and over the next six weeks this program will unfold in the Ninja Parenting Community.
Our theme is: “Cool to be Kind,” straight from Audrey Monke’s wonderful book, Happy Campers, because I believe that we need kindness in our homes and in our world to be happy ourselves and help our children thrive.
– Opening ceremonies which will include the “lighting” of our Summer Camp indoor campfire (and instructions as to how members can make their own campfires)
– Going on “Kindness Adventures,” and bringing our kids along on them too
– A “not-so-virtual overnight,” in which I have pledged to sleep overnight in our tree fort outside while members camp out in their living rooms or backyards
– “Campfire Nights,” where we’ll have conversations about fostering kindness as a way to be happier, and make a dent in solving the bigger problems in our world
If that sounds good to you – and if you like the idea of connecting with others to stay positive – join the Ninja Parenting Community today!
NPC Summer Camp starts this coming Friday 6/26, so there’s never been a better time to join.
Click here to join the Ninja Parenting Community.
And then get ready for a fun time at Summer Camp!
Always remember that I’m here for you.
We will get through this together!
(Here is the link to this post)
What’s up on the podcast this week:
The first part of a Q&A, answering questions about sibling jealousy and bringing an older adopted child into your home:
What’s up in the WTOO Book Club this week:
We talk about “taking advantage of natural consequences” as a disciplinary tactic. Super useful and these meetings are always very fun!
If you’re signed up for the WTOO Book Club, the zoom link will wing its way into your inbox this evening, and the meeting will start at 9:30 PM EST.
If you’re not in the book club but you want to be, join at the following link:
What’s up in the Ninja Parenting Community this week:
Getting ready for NPC Summer Camp!
(If you’re not yet a member of NPC, click here to join!
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