Children (like most humans) are creatures of habit. When something unexpected happens it can throw things upside down in their little world.
Children, especially young children, will struggle to discuss the changes that happened but you will know they are affected by it through their behaviour.
The following are some common things that happen when the unexpected happens:
1. Increased Tantrums
3. Increased Emotion (tears and whining)
4. Interrupted Sleep
5. Decreased/Increased Appetite
Your child is being affected by the unexpected event, Now What???
First, let’s talk about a situation that we went through about a year and a half ago…
Unexpectedly, my husband and father of our then 5-year-old ended up in the hospital for just under a week. This event rocked us all to the core. I wanted to curl up and separate from the world; however, this adorable little 5-year-old had a different plan.
The little guy kept asking the same questions over and over again. He would replay the situation with his words. He would tell anyone that would listen (sometimes that meant he was telling strangers details). This was hard for me to process; however, I knew the importance of letting him talk so I did. We never shut him down. He slowly stopped talking about it on his own.
He asked to stick with his routine. I thought it was best to keep him home from school the day after his dad ended up in the hospital. best He wanted to go to school. I then sent him to school. Children thrive on the expected! He was comfortable going to school and wanted to be there. So off to school he went. He also wanted to go to Beavers that night so he did.
He needed to see that Daddy was okay so we went to the hospital to see him but did not stay long. We kept the visit short and sweet.
Then he asked for answers. He needed to know why things happened the way they did so I explained things in terms I knew he would understand. I did not shelter him from the experience. Instead, I involved him and kept things as age appropriate as possible.
We often try to protect our kids. In protecting them we do not give them the information they need. This can be harmful. Children will start to use their imaginations to come up with reasons that things happen. It is best to keep them in the loop. This really helped our little man.
In time, he was able to move on from the situation. He actually moved on much quicker then the adults did.
Steps to Take when the Unexpected Happens:
1. Keep to the regular routine as much as possible
2. Let your child talk (no shutting them down)
3. Do not take any outbursts personally
4. Keep things age appropriate
In summary, do not underestimate your child’s ability to handle the situation. Your child will thrive if you keep things age appropriate and as close to their routine as possible. If you have any further comments, please feel free to comment in the comments section under this post.
Is he babysitting???
(insert my scrunched up “are you serious” face)
When our son is not with me, I have been asked if his Dad was at home babysitting?
Excuse me while I rant for a minute or two…
No, he is not babysitting. He is parenting!
Why does this drive me nuts? I feel it downplays the role of a Dad.
It takes a village to raise a child. When there is a team that is parenting, all players are important. Their roles may be a bit different but just as important.
In the last 10 days, I have been home for a grand total of 3 days. Our son is thriving! Does it sting a bit? Yes, it does. I secretly would love to hear that he is struggling with me being gone; however, he is not struggling because he is taken care of by his loving caring parent that knows him inside out and backward.
Let’s take the time to celebrate the awesome Dads out there!
I will start this celebration by celebrating the awesome Dads in my life. My Dad is the cutest man with a great sense of humour. I have many great memories of him taking me to many different sporting events. He never complained when he had to take me to the hospital for yet another injury! When I was down, all I had to do was call my dad. My mom knew by the tone of my voice and she would just pass the phone to him. He would say “keep your chin up”. There is something about his voice that just calmed me!
My Husband is a great example of a Dad that would do what it takes for his kids. When he hit his rock bottom he dug himself out and worked hard to show his boys that no matter what hurdle is in place, when you set your mind to it you can achieve it. He is a great example of a caring, intentional and supportive father!
My Father in Law is an awesome man that helped shape my husband into the kind and caring human that he is! You can see many of Mike’s traits in Steve. Feel free to comment below this post about the positive qualities of the Dads in your life!
HAPPY FATHER”S DAY TO ALL THE DADS OUT THERE!!!
A scene that I see being played out over and over again is when little ones are exploring or eating with a parent right on top of the child cleaning up after them. It drives me bonkers sometimes!
I get that there are people that are really fearful of germs; however, this creates little people that do not want to get dirty.
Case and point…
I love my husband but when our little man was a toddler I had to do a mini-intervention.
My husband does not like a mess. Well, this does not bode well with a toddler. Our little man would get distressed and run to wash his hands if he was dirty. It was becoming an issue. I did not want a little person that was afraid to explore or eat something due to becoming dirty. He was literally suctioned up after most meals with a “Dust Buster”.
After the mini-intervention (and after being kicked by me under the table a few times), our little man will power through his meal and will try touching different things (he does not like all textures but that is information for a future post regarding sensory related issues) while exploring.
When our little ones are able to explore their environments they learn so much!! If I see a little one that is “dirty” on the playground from jumping around and climbing I have to stop myself from going over and high fiving that parent!
If you are concerned about your child getting sick or hurt, it is important that you also look at the other side. Children that are not free to explore their environment can have increased fears and their physical development can be delayed.
Ways to be Prepared for a Mess while out…
1. Have a change of clothes with you
I made a habit of having a change of clothes in my backpack, diaper bag or my purse. I also had an extra couple of outfits in the vehicle for those last minute adventures
2. Have a few wet wipes or a cloth in a bag for those moments
Never hurts to be prepared to clean up a mess. Baby wipes have many purposes. I still have a package around for those moments 🙂
3. Join in and explore
By doing this you can teach your child how to explore in a safe manner if you are concerned. This also allows your child to see that it is okay because mommy or daddy is doing it too!
4. Carry a Plastic Bag
This has saved me a few times. Soiled clothes have a place to go without causing an issue.
Children learn so much when they are given the opportunity to explore. I am not sure about you, but man I had a blast as a child when I was free to jump in the puddles, make mud pies and roll down the hill.
I am challenging you to let your little one get messy. They will learn how to clean up after themselves and they will have so much fun doing it!
If you are looking for more information about the benefits of exploring the outdoors, I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of “Balanced and Barefoot” by Angela Hanscom. Following is an affiliate link for the book.
Have fun letting your little one get messy!!
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