Parents and Kids at Home

It is reported lately that difficulties at home have increased since kids are not in school. I am sure this is true. However, it is an opportunity also for parents to get in a deeper relationship with their own children. We can keep handing our kids to the schools, but it may be a good idea to take a look at that. There are great home schooling programs for children of all ages. In homeschool, kids can learn to self organize and to relate to learning as something they desire rather than something handed to them spoon fed in such a way that they are easily indoctrinated into values and assumptions parents may or may NOT agree with.

Schools in my experience as a life time family therapist, can be hostile places to spend so many hours in. The ideal that teachers love their work, are trustworthy and respect values which they model for our kids may not be realized on a daily basis anymore. Parents need strategies to be in better relationships with their kids.

Some suggestions

Only buy the foods you want your kids to eat. Buy mostly unprocessed whole foods and teach your kids to cook.

Allow your kids to participate in the household food budget, buying etc and meal planning. They learn important life skills this way and how to apply math to daily living.

Allow them an allowance and a budget. Create reward systems they can easily follow and move toward success whenever they choose.

Don’t respond as much to negative, resistant behavior and just view it as an attempt to get you on their reward system rather than a willingness to follow yours.

Look at the ways your behavior diminishes their trust in you. Work to re-establish respect and trust if it has been damaged.

Learn basic communication skills. Repeat what is said to you. Try not to analyze, assess and teach but to reflect and communicate in a way that your child feels heard and understood. This creates trust.

Attune with your kids at least 15 mins each day. Just watch, repeat what they do and say, without adding anything. No assessing, criticizing, suggesting or adding just reflect, repeat and reflect and repeat. Kind of like being a mirror. Children respond amazing to this process and problem behaviors simply disappear.

Find routines that teach values, discipline, respect for the environment and gratitude for life and what we are given. This is learned by observing adults not by what adults say but by what they actually do.

Have time to play with your kids. Games, sports whatever you can do. Do it willingly and with joy. If you can’t do what you can. Tell stories, laugh and share. Turn off the tv and video games. This is the most important thing you can do. Have art supplies, music and enrichment types of things kids can do. When they have been in school, they will be negative, bored, demanding, defiant, and basically dependent. As they adjust they usually become happier, more self motivated and self reliant if tv and video is not an inherent part of anything other than their direct learning environment doing schoolwork.

Get support from parents that know how to homeschool.

IF their are problems in the house, with or between the parents get support to solve those issues as it is very hard for kids to live in the middle of a lack of love, genuine support, fun and kindness in the family.

I am available for guidance and support on zoom and in Williamsburg VA.

Patricia Haman, MA.