A crisis is an urgent, pressure-filled time of change in your child’s life. Every child will go through some kind of crisis. The Chinese word for “crisis” combines two meanings – “danger” and “opportunity.” You must recognize the danger and seize the opportunity! You can help make something very good come out of a crisis! These needs must be met by a parent or an adult guardian. While there are many roads to effective parenting, with varying styles and methods, experts agree that all positive parenting rests upon the attribute of love. In parenting, let love be your guide. To help parents grow emotionally and physically healthy children, KidsPeace® offers these …
15 ways to help your child through crisis
5 ways to help BEFORE a crisis
1. EXPECT a crisis. Every child will go through some sort of crisis. It is a natural part of growing up, so don’t be surprised! Expect and prepare for it. BE READY FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO HELP.
2. KNOW your child. The best way to help is to see the crisis coming, but you won’t see a crisis coming if you don’t know your child. Crisis causes kids to change what they say, how they feel, and how they act. Know what is normal so you can recognize the change!
3. LOVE your child. Kids feel pain when they’re in crisis. They need your love, your trust. They need you. But they will not come to you in a time of storm if they don’t feel your love in times of calm. Show your kids you love them now!
4. COMMUNICATE with your child. Talk – and listen – to your kids. Ask them about their dreams and their fears! Show interest now so they will know you care later.
5. BUILD trusting relationships. Knowing, loving and communicating with your kids builds parent and child trust. Build similar relationships with other adults – a trusted friend, neighbor or family member – to whom you and your child can go in crisis. You and your child need support! Build support now!
7 ways to help DURING a crisis
1. LOOK for the signs of crisis. Look for these warning signs: increased anxiety, changes in appetite or sleeping patterns, depression, shame, guilt, anger and hostility. If you recognize these or other sudden and dramatic changes in your child, look for crisis!
2. LOCATE the cause of crisis. Ask your child how he feels, what is bothering him. Find the source of pressure so you can help relieve it.
3. UNDERSTAND your child’s reactions. Your child will try various methods to cope with pain and make the crisis go away. Tensions and emotions can run high, resulting in explosive words and actions. Recognize
and understand why your child is reacting and respond
4. LISTEN AND TALK. Ask your child to describe his feelings. Repeat back to your child what he has said. Feel your child’s pain. Tell your child you understand how hard it is for him and how painful it is for you to see him go through the crisis. Offer empathy, not quick advice.
5. ACCEPT your child. Your child may become increasingly hostile or negative toward you. Do not judge your child’s behavior. Understand why he is reacting and lovingly accept your child while correcting his actions.
6. HUG AND HOLD your child. Express your love consistently in words and actions. Tell him he is loved, valued and accepted no matter what.
7. GUIDE positively. After you have listened to, understood and identified with your child’s pain, offer positive feedback and confidence. Give him some practical action or task you know he can do to build his self-worth. (It is good if the task helps someone else.) Tell your child you trust him and his ability to rise above the difficulty. Do not let yourself be overwhelmed by the crisis. Seek professional guidance if you don’t know what to do or say.
3 ways to help AFTER a crisis
1. PRAISE your child. Tell your child how proud you are of him for enduring hardship.
2. APPLY the positive lesson(s) learned. Admit any mistakes you made in handling the crisis. Affirm your love for your child. Discuss how you felt. Listen to your child’s feelings. Talk about what worked and evaluate what was accomplished. Together, agree on how to correct the problems and the best way to handle feelings and actions next time.
3. PREPARE for the next crisis. Agree that going through crisis is better together than alone. Discuss the other potential crises that might happen based upon what you learned.