Kids and Coping

Isn’t it true that even adults have a hard time finding what works in terms of coping with difficult situations in life.  It is a challenge because what works one time might not work the next.  We are in constant search of healthy ways to make ourselves feel better when we are stressed.  Our society generally goes to things like having a drink, eating something unhealthy, watching TV, and the list could go on and on.  All of these things in moderation are certainly just fine ways to get through something difficult.  However, longer term, I found myself asking, “what could I do and what could I teach both my own children and the children I teach ways to help deal with difficult situations that might actually help with positive forward movement with the situation?”  What a huge question!  I still do not have the answer!  However, there are things we can do that can certainly get us closer…

  1. Take deep breathes.
    • This is helping my 4 year old in ways I never imagined.  When she falls and injures herself, when her feelings are hurt, when she is worried, when she is sensitive, etc….  She looks at my with giant eyes and she begins to deeply breathe.  This has helped her regain regulation 100% of the time she has tried it.
  1. Count to 10.
    • Counting helps us go from our emotions to our rational thinking. In order to think about counting, you have to leave the emotional for a minute, gaining regulation.
  2. Take a walk.
    • Walking can help release positive feelings in our bodies. It can also help us gain perspective that this place we are in is a small part of the whole.
  3. Pray.
    • For me this can be hard. I can find myself in a cycle of telling myself reasons why praying won’t work.  I don’t deserve it.  I make so many mistakes. My problem is ridiculous. God doesn’t listen to me anyway.  I am here to tell you that every single time I have pushed through this, I have been shown how this is the devil keeping me from what God desires for me and God has come through!  Not always how I want or in my time but He knows what is best.
  4. Talk to someone with the focus of possible solutions.
    • It is so easy to talk to someone else and stay stuck in the “ickyness” of how we feel. Sometimes this can even take a turn for the worst and making it feel bigger or harder.  When you focus on solutions, it gives hope to a difficult situation.  Maybe none of the solutions work or maybe they are even far fetched, but the reality is they give you hope to try something to change the current situation.

We can teach this to our children.  They need us to teach them this.

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