Coping with Frustration
If you are able to take time off work it can be an ideal opportunity to reconnect with your family. However, this can be a very stressful time for parents and their child/children. The pressure to keep up with other families, holidays, days out and to make your child/children’s holiday a memorable time can be too much stress.
This can be magnified when you don’t feel close with your child/children. How can you reconnect with them when you feel frustrated and don’t know where to start?
Make space to spend together.
Remember to listen more and shout less.
Counting from 1 to 10 is simple yet effective.
Bonding with Children
It is important when connecting with your child/children that you learn about them and also tell them about you. Bonding is a two way process. Sharing experiences is the fastest way to build lasting bonds because the feel-good endorphins that are released are powerful touchstones.
Do things together that you enjoyed doing as a child and tell them why you enjoyed it e.g. building dens, picking fruit, trips to castles.
Do a project together and encourage them to take (age appropriate) ownership e.g. decorating their room, painting a fence in the garden.
Go through your phones and pick out the best pictures from these experiences. Print them and make a scrap book with stickers and hand written notes.
Whether children admit it or not they are guided by the example of their parents/primary care givers. This is an opportunity for you all to focus on positive habits including eating, drinking, sleeping and use of mobile phones. By doing this you will be able to focus on one another and time spent together.
Have all meals together and make this a mobile phone free space.
Play team games together: football, tig, board games, quizzes.
Tell your child/children that you are enjoying spending this time with them.
Maintenance of the Relationship
When you have found new experiences you all enjoy or benefit from, make these your routine and plan to do them when the children are back at school and you are back at work. Maintaining the relationship in this way will lead to ongoing benefits for the family.
When you feel confident you can suggest a day where you say “yes“ to every request and see where the day takes you: cake for breakfast, a trip to the zoo, getting covered in stickers or an afternoon nap for all.
If none of these things seem possible due to other situations or complications then remember that the school holidays are almost over for another year.
If you are really struggling to cope and are already dreading the next school holidays it may be time to talk to someone in confidence and without judgement.