It’s the summer holidays and for many parents this can be a really difficult time.
Difficult because the children are home 24/7
Because they need you to meet their needs.
Because you don’t get that much needed time to do all the things you would usually do when they are at School.
Because you are juggling meeting the needs of your disabled child(ren) with your non-disabled child(ren)
That’s some of the reasons why the holidays are hard.
So it’s only natural that you react to situations that you wouldn’t normally react to.
You’re tired, out of routine, on call constantly and you’re human!
You find yourself snapping, you lose your temper, cry or walk away to another room or you might say something you don’t mean either directly or indirectly to your child!
And your little ones are either your target audience or they over hear a conversation and from that, they construe a whole different meaning about what they have just heard.
They do this because our children’s world is infinitely smaller than an adults world, it has less power and less access to information to decode what they have heard.
So often your child will assume that the reason you are cross is because of something they have done or can do something about.
Most of the time it isn’t!
Yes, there will be moments when you might be genuinely cross at them for something that has happened but usually, our anger is about how we feel about situations. An example of this might be that your child has spilt milk on the carpet and whilst you might feel annoyed it is more likely that your annoyance is related to having an extra job to do and the potential for the milk staining the carpet and creating a horrible smell in a few day’s time when you miss a bit in your cleaning up process than at the accidental milk spillage.
Emotions are like a recently boiled Kettle!
This is where Sorry becomes essential and I don’t mean a quick ‘Sorry about that’ I mean a ‘let’s have a debrief when it is safe to do so’ (for everyone, especially if tensions are running high – You know when you have boiled a kettle and you go to reboil it a short while later, it boils much quicker doesn’t it; Emotions are very much like that – they need time to fully cool. This could take 15, 30, 60, or 90 minutes or it might mean that you revisit the next day.
Whatever is needed by everyone is the most effective way to have a successful outcome – If you are ready to apologise but they are not ready to receive it or vice versa, you will risk reboiling the kettle and provoking another difficult situation.
Five steps to an effective reconciliation
By using these techniques you will be equipping your children to deal with conflict in many situations not just at home and remember it will almost certainly take practice so keep on trying.
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