Tips for parents during civil unrest

Tips for parents during civil unrest

It is a frightening and frustrating time in the country and as a parent, you want to ensure your child does not pick up on the chaos.

Tips for parents; civil unrest
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As parents, we want the best for our children. Now, especially as it is school holidays, they sit with us at home hearing and seeing all the chaos happening in the country. There are tips you can use to try to help stabilise their perception and mood should it be negatively affected. 

Create a safe space

Allow children to say what is on their minds and then reflect their feelings back to them. This may be daunting, should you also be slightly anxious and at a loss for words to make sense of the situation happening now, but speaking from a place of experience might help. Simply take an experience that you have had as a parent where it seemed things or a situation might not recover but it eventually did. In another case, it might not have recovered but you were able to stay resilient through it all and keep you head above the water. 

Share this with your child in a language you both use, especially pertaining to emotions. It may give you so much perspective as well. 

Validate your child's feelings

This allows him/her to feel heard and understood. They will know there is no shame in being overwhelmed by the chaos and uncertainty. You simply have to let them know that the way they are feeling is completely normal in situations of this nature. You might also want to reference some moments they have witnessed your big feelings so they know it is not unusual and they are not alone. 

Toddler
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Being scared is OK

It is important to emphasise this, but equally share that it should not stop one from continuing and living life. The fear should not take over their entire being, like playing soccer or painting their nails or watching their favourite cartoons. It may be great to sift through the feelings and the emotions together, just for a short while, then explain that "this and this and this" still needs to be done. Things like eating or bathing should be encouraged to show that we are still able to keep a little bit of our routine, although some things may be different and frustrating. 

Reassure them of their safety

It might be a reach because we are all so scared and hoping no danger will come in our direction, but, as a parent, you are obviously doing all that you can to keep your children safe from any potential threat. Affirm them, say it to them that, "Mommy/Daddy is here and I will protect you. You are safe". Every now and then explain that you are making sure they are safe by not taking them with to the mall or to the petrol station. They get to let their guards down and keep calm. 

There are a multiple other tips to look out for as parents during this time. The most important is that your child knows they are going to be fine, you are with them, and they can depend on you in terms of safety. 

Stay safe! 

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