Parenting happens in a variety of ways in a variety of different family strucutures. In single parent families it is important for little ones to understand that wo families are alike and every family is unique.
Sometimes though with family drama and emotions it can become necessary to seek professional help for little minds and this is never something to be ashamed or afraid of.
Feelings can brim over in all children as they learn how to regulate emotions and understand the world around them. Tantrums can spiral into a pattern of behaviour or a battle of angry wills as parent and child struggle to be understood.
In the Single Mums experience there is the over stimulated child and under stimulated child and both of these are unhappy monsters at times!!! And the difference between these two creatures is approximately 0.5 seconds in getting the balance right before a kick off.
Mindfulness can help in these situations. Very young children would find sitting still to relax for meditation difficult but here are some everyday activities which can help LOs to find some calm.
Simple Mindfulness Activities for Children
1) Colouring Books – this trend has taken off for grown ups and with good reason. Colour therapy and concentrating on the lines and shapes for a moment moves concentration to the page and away from all the other goings on of the day. Useful before bedtime for transitioning between active to restful.
2)Paying Attention to the Senses – Stopping and playing music in the moment or taking a short walk instead of battling through a time out or getting more wound up through a time in.
3)Feeling Close- There are those who maintain that screen time is all bad but sometimes watching a programme on the phone close together brings some connection and closeness especially as children grow older and move on from cuddles or breastfeeding. Also stories on CD or reading together if this is not too exciting. (Dramatic reading of course has its place).
4)My Thing, Your Thing – this is good for reconnecting after a day at schoool or apart. Instead of questioning which can seem like nagging or banging on with information they don’t want to be overloaded with. ”You say one thing from your day, I say one thing from my day, who goes first?”
This can be anything at all and usually gets (funny?) responses. ”I did a wee.”
5)Yoga and Hypnotherapy – reading through texts from the Relax Kids books or trying new poses can be lots of fun. Easy to learn at home or participating in a family class together. Even simple moves that can be a distraction like reaching up high and trying to tickle your own toes!