Confessions of a Queenstown Dad | October 2021

Confessions of a Queenstown Dad | October 2021 1394 1396 The Flyer Magazine

One thing I’ve seen arise within children in the last year of lockdowns is that “kids wear what adults project”.

By this I mean that children will pick up on the anxiety, stress, depression, courage, kindness, or gratitude, etc, of the main adults around them. They most probably won’t even know they are doing this, but their behaviour will be picking up on what we as adults are projecting. We might not even be aware of this, but children will pick up on our attitude very quickly.

It’s like when I was teaching. I could tell the kids that we were going to be doing an amazing topic in maths around algebra and say all the right things, and even smile. But if I really didn’t want to do it or enjoy it, there was no way I could fool the kids into this. As my words didn’t match my behaviours around this, despite what I was saying.

So with many things that are still out of our control here are some things to help us as adults in times that are unknown in nature, and can change any time the 1pm message from the Prime Minister occurs.

Here are some things to tell yourself when you are anxious:

1. You’re not alone in this.

2. This feeling WILL pass.

3. Your thoughts do not control you.

4. Physical movement will help.

5. Breathing techniques will help.

When it comes to breathing technique, the best one I’ve used is the 4x4x4x4x4 (just saying that once will help you to remember it).

Breathe in through your nose for the count of 4, hold for the count of 4, breathe out through your mouth for 4 and hold for 4. Do this 4 times.

It really is amazing how this works. Remember when you were told to count to 10 when you were angry as a kid. This is the same thing but even better.

I’ve had to use this a few times in lockdown with ‘Miss 4’ as she seems to really know how to push my buttons, especially when I may be tired or stressed. But I needed to remember she is actually only 4 and I’m nearly 44, so it’s up to me to lead and demonstrate the right way to react to situations that aren’t ideal.

Remember this:

You are enough.
You are amazing.
You are loved.

Shaun 

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