Helping Children Feel Secure in an Uncertain World
The news can be full of stories and information that can be scary and anxiety-inducing, especially for children. If adults are feeling worried, imagine how children must be feeling. No matter the age, children can be emotionally affected by the news and begin to feel anxious about what they are hearing. For this reason, it’s important for parents to spend time connecting with their children and implementing ways that help them feel secure.
Also, of course, parents may also feel unsure during these times of worldwide turmoil, and they may struggle with how to talk to their children about it. But, this is the time when parents can take the opportunity to help members in the family to reconnect, which will help everyone feel more secure. Having honest discussions about what everyone is feeling is vital to processing the influx of information and all the emotions it produces in a healthy way. It’s important that parents have these conversations with their children to help ease their fear about our “new normal.” It’s also incredibly valuable to create strategies that leave children feeling safe and assured.
This is the perfect opportunity to implement some of the strategies that we use in our Krav Junior program. Because the program was created based on child development and psychology research, the principles can be applied in many situations. The Parent SKILLZ program incorporates ways to strengthen the parent-child bond which is crucial within the status of our world today.
In the Parent SKILLZ system, there are 8 skills that were developed. While all of them are equally important, attunement, connection, patience and nurturing are a good place to start in regards to what we are facing today, globally. It’s important for parents to be attuned to their child’s feelings about the Coronavirus, their new daily routine, and being restricted from their friends and activities they love. Being patient with them with questions they may have, or frustrations they may feel, is equally important. Spending time connecting with them is essential to their sense of security and wellbeing, and nurturing them through these tough times will help them feel more at ease.
One way to provide children with more comfort during these times is to implement strategies that boost positive brain chemicals and neutralize stress hormones like cortisol. Parents can increase dopamine by setting up time for families to do fun activities together. Giving hugs and spending time connecting with each other increases oxytocin which fosters trust and stability. By setting a positive mood, parents can increase serotonin which will make everyone more at ease. Parents can also boost their children’s endorphins by going for a walk as a family or doing an online workout together, which will put everyone in a better mood!
In uncertain times, families can ease anxiety by connecting with each other. By implementing Parent SKILLZ and finding ways to boost the positive chemicals in the brain, parents can create an environment that fosters security for their family and develops a strong family bond that makes the tough times just a little bit easier.