Relieving Anxiety and Calming the Classroom
It's a huge subject, and I am not suggesting that I solved it, but hear me out:
I surmise the epidemic-like rise of childhood anxiety, depression and behavioral changes are from many things, but maybe chief among them is a vast disconnection - caused by both the Pandemic and the viral rise of social & mainstream media, and the eroding of all kinds of social connections, conventions and perhaps more sadly still, the disintegrating role-models of calm resourcefulness and peaceful discourse. That disconnection has made itself felt through children's schooling, peer socialization and even their most basic family units.
So what is a parent, teacher, caregiver or parent to do about that?
My idea is to re-prioritize our children. To consider their needs afresh, almost as if seeing them for the first time. Create a new noticing and listening acuity as you observe them. Sounds good, right? But what does that functionally mean?
Years of working with clients, both tall and small have convinced me the most common elements of distressing memories are about not being seen, not being heard, not being noticed in their struggles, and not being encouraged to talk about the situation in honest detail. And although I have heard some very intense childhood experiences and stories, many of these childhood wounds were so common, so everyday, so .... preventable.
I decided to apply these insights to kids during actual separation or divorce situations as my direct contribution to not creating more clients with the same issues that would cripple their efforts at a happy, fulfilled life. And I knew I would be most successful by offering specific bite-sized support for the most common areas I have seen become big emotional issues, most of which seem largely preventable.
Why do I say that? For the same reason we accept the experiential fact, that if we feel safely connected, considered and valued... we can forgive almost any mis-step or mis-take. Which I think is great news, as a parent that has frequently mis-spoke, mis-judged, and even mis-behaved in my time!
Next I studied how to get the message out to more people and their children, especially those in specific and urgent need.
I chose a new platform that spoke directly to the family divorce situation, called Divorce By Rose, created by a Canadian divorce coach, Ravit Rose, to offer my own small steps towards Better for child going through this. I envisioned it as an easy, do-able way to remind caregivers how to better see, hear and consider their kids through the everyday disasters that family separation and divorce commonly carry.
Often we think we can hide all the drama, trauma, bad behaviors, uncertainty, fears and 'ugly truths' from our kids. I believe we can't.
Without offense, I offer this: just as animals sense distress and changes in their environment, even the smallest child can feel the troubles, the untruth, the ripples in their reality and the fabric of their safety. What we CAN do is present an appropriate level of explanation and sensitivity in sharing information with them, instead of trying to hide or deny a reality they can feel. Often the potentially scary phrase, "I don't know" may be the best role model we can present them - as in, "I don't know the answer to that, yet. What I DO know is that I care for you, am here for you, and we will get through this, together."
Realizing that busy parents have it hard enough without pandemic and rotating educational disruption, and that when adding partnership or family disconnection to the mix, the LAST thing they want to hear is that they must do 'one more thing.' I got it. Finally I landed upon this: given the situation, which seems to be getting worse and worse...how can I better support both parents and kids, quickly, easily and simply?
I believe that most parents want the best for their kids, although their resource states may feel scarce or tattered at this point. I hear that. There is the very real sense that we are exhausted from keeping up the routines and pretenses, and simply don't have more energy for anything. So I knew whatever I offered must feel do-able. My solution? Cut up everything I had to share into bite-sized pieces. I began asking direct questions, such as:
And with those answers in mind, I created a program called 'Take 5' - How to Help Your Child Through Separation or Divorce, and put it on the DivorcebyRose.com platform and its Clubhouse discussion App. It's small but mighty, and I sincerely hope that it will help many a parent, grandparent, caregiver and family member to a better Life experience.
Later I discovered the Take 5 program was probably good for just about any situation a family goes through! So, today I am asking you to check it out, if not for yourself then for someone or some child that you care about. We CAN do a better job of this. We CAN make a better Life experience for ourselves and our children. Thank you for joining me in this intention and effort. (Links below)
If you have comments or questions or would like support through these times, I hope you'll take advantage of this tiny program and contact me if I can be of direct help to you. (Links below)
I'm on a mission to BETTER, for all of us. Thanks for being onboard.
Kind regards and gratitude,
Jondi Whitis, MTOT JondiWhitis.com Jondi@EFT4Results.com
and Take 5: Helping Kids Through Divorce or Separation https://ravitrose.com/eft-for-parent-in-divorce