Comforting Advice and Tips for Parents 

During these difficult times collective fear is spreading quickly throughout the world. With no warning, parents were asked to change their lifestyle and stay at home to home school, work from home, stock up on groceries, and practice social distancing. So, we asked ourselves, how can parents remain calm, happy and proactive in order to model emotional intelligence for their kids?

 

We wish we could tell you that all you need is a magic wand, but we can assure you that by establishing some simple practices at home you can see magic happen rapidly and positively.

First things first…. Take time to relax and self-regulate

 

Take a few minutes in the beginning of your day (wake up a few minutes before everyone else does) - You can repeat this practice as many times as you want or need during the day

 

  1. Find a quiet space (even the bathroom will do)

  2. Close your eyes

  3. Take five deep slow breaths

  4. Relax your face, your shoulders, your chest and arms, your belly, legs and feet

  5. Create an intention for your day: maybe acceptance, patience, flexibility, compassion, empathy, laughter, humbleness, understanding…

  6. Realize and accept that we are all vulnerable during these times and its ok

  7. Finally tell yourself: I will be present, steady and relaxed for myself and others

  8. With a smile on your face, open your eyes and start your day

Reassure your kids

 

Tell/Ask your kids/teens:

  1. I understand how hard it must be for you, with all the changes that you need to adjust

  2. You are doing great with all the changes in your schedule (not going to school, not seeing your friends, not going to your parties……)

  3. Do you understand what is happening?

  4. How does it make you feel?

  5. Is there anything you would like to share with me?

Keep the Coronavirus and its impact explanation simple, “it’s like a strong cold, they are trying to find a medication for it, in the meantime we need to stay home so we don’t spread germs”, “you can see your grandparents or friends through facetime….”

Most importantly: Tell them “it will all be ok” “you are safe” “this will all pass” “we are together, we will be ok”

 

Spend time connecting with your kids and make it fun!

 

Sit together with your kids and create a schedule.  If you can use a big board or paper, color markers or crayons, stickers, glitter. Chances are that being creative and fun, you will be engaging them, and they will be willing to commit and follow the schedule more readily. Each task should be identified by a different color.

  1. Include Gratitude time: sit together and remember the positive things in your life. Little ones could draw a picture and older kids could start a journal. Create a daily routine to send love to others, maybe everyone can think of a random act for kindness

  2. Include all tasks that must be done each day: chores, schoolwork, some type of exercise, mindful time

  3. Include fun optional tasks: read a book, color, draw, dance, watch a movie, journal, do a craft, garden

  4. Include a moment of “time alone - (no disruption)”, parents can work during this time while kids can do their favorite thing, maybe Facetime a friend? This will teach kids boundaries and respect, but know that it may take time for them to learn this important skill

  5. Include family time together: riding bikes, swimming, walking, playing a game, dancing, family yoga

  6. Include screen time. If your child is older, agree on the amount, times and reasons for screen time. Face timing family should be included

  7. Include flextime, everyone can choose their favorite activity

If you have teenage kids, ask them to do their own schedule including family time together.  Parents and teens can share each other’s schedule and agree on family time together.

Dealing with anxiety and fear

Parents find a moment, first thing int the morning or several times a day, to self-regulate.  How do you self-regulate? Stop what you are doing, close your eyes, take a few deep and slow breaths, finally ask yourself: How is the tone of my voice? How is my heart? How is my mind?

How is my breath, shallow or slow? You may find the need to breathe a little more. Model calm as much as you can, your kids will copy your behavior.

  1. Create mindful times or brain breaks with your child (for more details please check Our Services or check our Youtube Channel)

  2. Practice family yoga (for more details please check Our Services or check our Youtube Channel)

  3. Have your child participate in an online mindfulness/yoga class (for more details please check Our Services or check our Youtube Channel)

  4. Do Micro meditations, with or without your child:

  • Make a cup of tea, hold the cup close to your nose while you close your eyes and breathe in the warm aroma of the tea

  • Play with your pet for a few minutes, if you have a dog let him lick your face

  • Go outside hug a tree

  • Lay on the grass for a few moments and look at the clouds float, listen to the sound of the leaves move with the wind

  • Cook, chop, chop, chop

  • Take a bath or shower, focus on the smell of the soap and the temperature of the water

  • Clean the house a little, organize closets, unclutter your space

  • Listen to sounds while you close your eyes

  • Sing out loud while you listen to your favorite songs

  • Walk, go up and down the stairs, do some jumping jacks

  • Bring your child out and play with your kids, dress up-be silly-laugh-pretend-play as much as you can!

  • Journal

  • Read

Managing behavior

Everyone will get bored at some point, everyone will get on each other’s nerve at some point, everyone will be tired of trying to keep the best behavior all the time…. So for those chaotic moments here is what we suggest with the purpose of getting back on track or adapting:

  1. Always review the rules with your kids, if possible, write them down.  Kids need to be constantly reminded of the rules

  2. Be open to change things around the schedule, children’s energies are constantly changing and as adults we need to sometimes adjust to their changes. So have a SOS list of things you can do with them. Maybe it’s time to go online and do some yoga!

  3. Create a cool down corner:

  • find a quiet and comfortable space, put some pillows on the floor or a comfortable chair

  • Make a sign and paste it on the wall that says “cool down corner”

  • Put some books or paper to write

  • If possible, have music easily available

  • Explain that this is where they can take a “brain break” where they can take some deep and long breath

If your child is having a meltdown:

  1. Remember you come first, take a few breaths to keep yourself coherent

  2. Remember your child may be frustrated and anxious, just as much as you are but cannot use his/her words to explain

  3. Be assertive and firm but also calm.  If the child is screaming wait a few minutes, don’t scream over him/her. As soon as you have a little silence ask them to go to the cool down corner

  4. Hug your child if they allow you, and just let them cry themselves down

  5. Put some music and divert to dancing

  6. If you have a chime, can you play it? This may distract

  7. If your child is older, ask to go to the cool down corner - ask them to close their eyes and breath while reflecting on how they can communicate better

 

 

Happy Warriors to the rescue!

 

In light of the current situation all across the globe, we have been forced to change our lives and find ways to bring stability and continuation to the schedules of our kids. 

The online school classes and assignments represent one of the most valuable and necessary tasks for the everyday mental, social and emotional stability of each child. The changes and adjustments that parents and children are obligated to endure, will add to the already anxious and uncertain environment. 

In order to alleviate anxiety and bring normalcy to each family, we will be offering classes online, to bring continuation, support and aid to all children and parents through this difficult time.

Our certified and qualified teachers will be offering the kids an opportunity to breathe, relax, do yoga poses, release stress and tension, and also have fun during these challenging times.

 

Make sure you can create some space in your house for your child to move a little bit. If you have a yoga mat it will be great, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry! We will be using an application called Zoom, which can be downloaded to the phone, iPad or accessed through your computer, you just need the link bellow to join the class. Please try to connect 5-10 minutes before the class so we make sure we have time to fix any technical issues.

 

All you need to do is to send us a message and we will be happy to arrange something to meet your needs.

 

You can also follow us on Instagram @happywarriorsyoga or Facebook @happywarriorsyogamiami where we are currently posting free yoga classes, fun tips and techniques for parents and kids to deal with stress, anxiety, fear, confusion, frustration and much more.
 

Cyber resources

  1. Insight Timer: is a large app-based library with guided meditations for adults and children

  2. Calm: an app that helps you with your sleep

  3. Mindshift CBT: this is an app designed for teens and young adults who have anxiety

  4. Talkspace: virtually matches you with a license therapist who you can text anytime you need

  5. ReGain: is specifically for couples’ therapy

  6. MoodPath: helps keep track of your daily moods

  7. 7Cups: app best for teens and young adults, allows them to message someone when they are feeling overwhelmingly stressed

  8. Happify: app with games to release stress

We are offering online private classes for children, teenagers and families. Please send us an email and we will contact you shortly!

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