As the year draws to a close you may be experiencing mixed feelings of sadness, irritability, excitement, failure, hope, exhaustion, and unfulfilled expectations.
Your children are also trying to make sense of varied emotions that the end of a school year bringsand will mirror your way of coping at this time. It is important that you devise a plan with your family so that the transition into next year is smooth.
Knowing what you and your family need, and being able to ask for help is vital. Begin, by finding ways of reducing stress and creating peace in the home. As many children are writing exams, stop extra mural activities and unnecessary travelling.
Say NO THANK YOU to some end of year functions, parties and events that are piling up.
A peaceful home exists when everyone feels heard and the needs of all family members are being met. Allow your children to express their feelings holding them gently, acknowledging them without judging them.
Choose to be the hero in the family and stop fighting in front of the children. Accommodate your ex over the holiday period so your children can have fun with both their parents, and avoid arguing with your children over untidy rooms, lack of time management, or a sassy attitude. Rather find ways to be creative, supportive, and help your youngsters with their studies.
This may have been a particularly difficult year for you, your partner or one of your children, and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness seem to pervade the home. “Why is this happening to me? What is the point? Why bother? ”may be questions you’re asking over and over, unable to find a way out of the throes of depression. While you cannot control what happens to you or your family, you can choose “how you will respond to the situation.” — Viktor Frankl, author of ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ states: “Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Choosing to help yourself or your child by seeking out those professionals you need to walk you through the darkness, is the first step to feeling differently next year to the way you feel today. As you seek specialist help for a broken limb, you should seek expert help for a wounded spirit.
Speak to your doctor or paediatrician about your feelings or those of your youngster; especially if your teen is withdrawing from the family or acting differently. Find a reputable psychiatrist who can prescribe the correct medication and dosage if needed. Talk about your feelings or encourage your child/partner to chat to a religious leader, psychologist, counsellor, at least once or twice a week.
Life Line 0861 322 322
Childline 0800 055 555
National Adolescent suicide hotline 1 800 621 4000
SA Depression and Anxiety Group 0800 567 567
Compassionate Friends (Support for parents who have lost a child) 011 440 6322
Women Abuse 0800 150 150
Emergency contraception Hotline 0800 246 432
Other ways to beat the melancholy during the holidays is exercising or walking, writing your feelings & thoughts in a journal, caring for a pet, doing charity work, eating healthy foods, hosting a holiday meal for those less fortunate, doing an activity you enjoyed as a child such as dancing, painting, acting, cycling, or sewing.
I wish you a peaceful end to the year with advice from Dr. Phil: “The past is over. The future hasn’t happened yet. The only time is now.”
By Claire Marketos www.inspiredparenting.co.za
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