Let’s be really honest- how parents use their language is key to not adding more stress to their kids.
How many times have you caught yourself using a harsh tone with your family out of frustration only to realize later it probably made matters worse?
The Name Game
Parents often refer to their child’s behavior in a personalized way, which can unconsciously attach blame and shame.
Reframe phrases like “Bobby’s anxiety” or “Ellen’s depression” by detaching ownership of the behavior or label. Call the emotion or experience what it really is and move it outside of your child’s identity.
Maybe Bobby is experiencing the “I-Don’t-Want-To’s” or the “I’d-Rather-Be-Playing” and Ellen is actually feeling the “I’m-Scared-Of… _________”.
Notice and Name
When an uncomfortable or stressful experience remains internalized, it usually gets worse and results in more opportunity for isolation. Make sense?
Externally noticing and naming your child’s experience so that it is separate and outside of your child’s identity is key.
Try this the next time you notice Bobby is agitated, “Oh look, the “I-Don’t-Want-To’s”just showed up!”
Strike a Power Pose
After acknowledging the “I-Don’t-Want-To’s”joined the morning rush to get out the door, it’s time to move!
Guide your child in movement and fun breathing sounds to expel the energy and mood that causes tension.
Raise you hands up like you just won a race, jump up and down to move the energy out. Almost instantly, your energy changes!
Use big exhalations with added noises to aid in this release practice. A “Whoosh” or “Poof” can be part of the exhale.
Posing and movement practices can be a parent-led activity that you do with your child. Leading your child through these practices as part of your routine can have a big impact.
You can try these when you are heading out the door to school or at the end of the day when you get back home. Transitioning from school to home and releasing the day with a jump-stomp-super hero stance can work wonders (for you) and your child!