Celebrities find ways to teach others just how to take obstacles and make movement. It’s not that celebrities are the only ones experiencing hardship, usually not – but they do have the platform to model what’s possible.
I am not someone who reads tabloids or even owns a magazine and I wouldn’t be able to tell you, who is dating who or even that someone got divorced in the media but when it comes to KIDS and mental and physical health- my ears perk up.
Modeling is a lesson I find valuable in parenting kids. Taking tricky moments and modeling best practices, genuine feelings, and authentic yet thoughtful responses.
In all the buzz on Brad and Angelina Jolie and the focus on how kids manage divorce and separations, I wanted to share 5 basic principles for what I’ve found to be supportive to children of all ages dealing with change.
1. Set time every day (not quantity but quality) no screens, no friends, no demands. Just simply join your children’s movements. This may seem slow, gestural, or big turns and jumps. I promise if Brad Pitt finds time for his children to do this then he will see them feel seen and connected.
2. When big feelings or movements arise- label them as actions not judgments. “You are moving quickly, with strength or slowly and indirect”. This is instead of saying “you’re difficult, angry, lazy, etc.” allow the children to then decide how they are feeling and have control to change how they move.
3. Prime for expectations. Even when your children seem to know the sequence of getting ready or coming home from school. Use your words to narrate what’s happening. The ability to anticipate what will happen by listening to your prompts will provide so much comfort and predictability, which is needed in times of change.
4. Make a visual board, book or photos to provide additional support for the changes in schedules. Place photos of what care provider will be there during transitions. Make it fun by having your children create the board.
5. Ask your children if you can join them vs. help them. Empower the children to see they are capable and competent while also having your support! When they become upset for eating, transitioning, sharing, coping with their parents differences – show them you can join their upset by tackling the challenge together- what can they do vs. saying “stop or no.”
With these important concepts, the challenge moments may be a bit more comfortable. These challenge moments seem to come when changes occur and these challenges indicate that the children are processing their experience. As a parent, we must be authentic in our responses. Saying “I” statements can model for our children how we feel and that feelings are normal. Feelings do not define us but rather provide valuable information for how we impact our world, each other and even ourselves.
In closing, I hope body knowledge becomes an important aspect of insight and healing. As for every feeling and experience there is movement, and parents can remember to look at the body, acknowledge movement in their children, and join in movement to connect. To understand more about Body Knowledge and Parent/child support follow @drloribaudino or visit my website www.drloribaudino.com.