Strengthen Family Ties, Manage Emotions During COVID-19

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As you hunker down at home with your family, your children may ask questions about the uncertain times we’re living in. You won’t have all the answers. But you can use this time to strengthen your relationship with your children and teach them how to handle tough life situations.

By talking and doing activities together, you can share skills like problem-solving and how to manage emotions, say the specialists at Samaritan Behavioral Health. There are many ways to practice.

Do a Puzzle — Or Go Fly a Kite

Working on a puzzle is good for solving problems. If frustration hits, show your child how to use self-talk to calm themselves down. Explain that the conversations we have inside our own heads can help us make good decisions.

Older children can benefit from using the problem-solving STEPs:

  • S — Say the problem without blame
  • T — Think of solutions that are safe and respectful
  • E — Explore consequences; what could happen if…?
  • P — Pick the best solution and make your plan

Making and flying a kite is another easy way to teach your child problem-solving skills. When you fly a kite, many things can go wrong. To make the kite fly, you might have to make changes or figure out a solution.

You and your children can build your own kite with household items. Follow these step-by-step instructions. Then head to your backyard or a park to let it fly.

Learn To Adapt And Cope With Change

You can also talk with your family about values. Values are what matter most to you. They affect the decisions you make. Values like being kind and respectful also build a strong foundation for social emotional skills.

Situations like the coronavirus can sometimes make our values change. Things may not go as you planned. You and your children can learn to adapt.

An “if-then plan” can help you cope with changes and setbacks, says Samaritan Behavioral Health specialists. If-then plans give you a back-up plan so that you can still achieve your goal. For example:

  • If I can’t see my friends in person today, then I can talk with them on a video chat.
  • If I am feeling bored inside the house, then I can ask a family member to talk a walk outside with me.

7 Helpful Values For the Coronavirus Age

You can still connect with others and enjoy yourself, even while being stuck at home. Try living by these values:

  1. Compassion: Show kindness to others. This is empathy in action.
  2. Creativity: Take time and create something new. Write, draw, build something.
  3. Empathy: Think about others’ feelings before you react. Empathy means to see things from another person’s perspective; in other words, to take a walk in someone else’s shoes.
  4. Friendliness: Communicate with your friends. Call or text your friends. Video chat with them and have a virtual party. Play online games.
  5. Helpfulness: This is a tough time for us all. Remember to lend a hand to anyone that you can.
  6. Humor: Smile and laugh. Make a funny TikTok. Do safe, silly things with your family.
  7. Respectfulness: Be respectful of others’ space and ideas. Try to give people as much time to themselves as possible.

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