Without a doubt, the world around us is rapidly changing, and our children are aware of more than we might think. Their listening ears hear worried grown-ups talk of job losses, “the economy”, political concerns, swine flu, and home foreclosures. If we parents have concerns about the future, imagine what they must feel. Our children are growing up bearing a burden that you and I didn’t have to bear.
What is the best way to help our children feel secure in these tumultuous times? These seven steps are important for establishing a strong family at any time but are particularly effective and necessary these days.
Be rock-solid parents
When flight attendants instruct passengers to put oxygen masks on their own faces before those of their children, it’s a logical sequence. Be strong yourself and you’ll be better able to help your children. More than ever, our children need us to be rock-solid. We owe it to our kids to be the adults in the family even when childish urges to over-spend or disregard commitments and responsibilities tempt us.
If you’re not feeling particularly strong, please give yourself permission to take care of you. If you need to talk with a counselor about your own feelings of helplessness and fears, make the appointment! When you read a checklist of the symptoms of depression and you can check off most of them, call your doctor! Something as simple as journaling can help relieve stress and put our concerns into perspective. When Mom and Dad are at a weak point in their lives, children become very vulnerable. Strong parents build strong children.
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