The saying goes ‘When your child is born your heart goes from inside your chest to on your sleeve’. God don’t we know it.
You want to do everything you can to protect your child, if they have an illness – you would take it in a heartbeat, if they were being picked on – you would take that on for them in a heartbeat and no matter what else they face you would take any hurt from them if you could. But you can’t. And that hurts doesn’t it? So here’s some things you can do to help them and prepare them for the big bad world. And it starts by showing them the beauty in the world as well as the bad in the world….
The greatest gift you can give your kids is mental resilience. Be there to help them but only guide them – don’t tell them – because otherwise they will never learn. If they have a bad friend that you don’t want them spending time with, subtly tell them ‘well that’s not a very nice thing that so and so did…. I wouldn’t want that done to me’ and ‘that’s hurtful, I don’t enjoy spending time with hurtful people’…. gradually children figure these things out….
2. Talk about things
Family discussions are the bomb. Get together and ask your kids to ask you any questions about anything!!!! Nothing is off the table, swear words they’ve heard, feelings they’ve had, sexual questions, drug related questions – let them ask them all and make it a safe space…. because it’s best they ask at this table then somewhere else or not ask at all…. it your opportunity to know what’s really going on with your children…. and to guide them and help them grow
3. Your kids mental wellbeing is more important than anything else
Allow yourself to show feelings and allow them to show feelings. With the horrible news this week of the woman jumping off Westfield Miranda it highlights the need to focus on mental health with your kids. If you ignore it who knows where it could land them. You take your kids to sport for their physical well being, you take them to the doctor for their physical healthy, dentist etc. All these experts you take them to because you want the very best for them – so is it worth taking them to a counsellor as well? Maybe even a family visit? Give your kids the gift of mental well being, self confidence and contentment.
4. Be ready to respond
Be ready to respond to your child when the big questions are asked or challenges arise. Get on beyond blue and educate yourself on the signs, get on drug prevention sites and educate yourself on the signs. Be the parent who is mentally strong for your child for them to be mentally strong as well.
A question Mummas – do you and your kids share info? Have you had any ‘tough questions’ and how have you responded? If you care and want to add to the lives of women and children across the Shire we encourage you to go out on a limb and share…. help us on our journey….