Preparing and waiting for storms in life has taught me a lot about focus, mental state, and the unforseeable future. My question: “What are you, as parents, focused on and what are you projecting when faced with a potential disaster that you don’t have any control over?”
One of the best lessons I learned at a Life Is Good Playmaker training is that we as adults must project calm to our children as we enter into potential traumatic events. By focusing ourselves on “calm resolve to be prepared” we are non-verbally projecting strength and teaching our children tremendously useful tools for their ability to manage trauma in their future. Whether we like it or not children look to us for security and knowledge that things will be OK. The reality swirling around may be hurtful but in order to minimize the trauma a child may be impacted by they need to rely on strength and not be caught up in the wirlwind.
Essentially, I would like us to focus on the positive and when negatives come our way we should be able to experience the negative as part of life and be prepared to focus on the future. A great quote put it this way – “Tough times pass, but tough people last.” Make sure you are “downloading” calm to the children you love and teach. If you are not calm, then the children’s anxiety level will definitely increase, and it will become a vicious cycle that is more difficult to break and manage as the children exhibit behaviors they don’t understand and you wonder what happened.
One way to prepare yourself to absorb the childrens’ anxiety and return calm to them is to -
2. Breathe Deeply
3. WATCH what is happening and LISTEN to what is being said!
4. Breathe Deeply again
5. Respond from a place of confident calmness and allay fears
Children will be much better off if you are able to do these five steps and you will probably be better equipped mentally and physically to handle whatever life is dishing out. Whether it be a hurricane, holidays, school, or sports competitions.
Best wishes as you prepare for life as the winds of change are coming …..
I want to leave you with another approach to life that was recently presented at a TEDx conference by Shawn Achor on the value of Play and Positive Psychology. Your homework assignment is to watch it and let us know your feelings on his lesson. We all can learn from each other and stress management is an individual job with widespread effects – especially if you have children or work with them.
Do your best to be the eye in the hurricane of life!