Happy Friday. We have made it through another week! We hope you are able to have balance in your daily routine that includes some academics along with time for fun activities and outside time. At school, teachers often balance the amount of academics with fun too and Fridays are often days that may involve assemblies, class rewards, or just some extra fun. Kids work hard throughout the week so making Friday a little more flexible with more outdoor time or fun activities is OK! Kids may also be tired and a little burned out by Fridays (so are we as adults ☺), so different expectations can be exactly what is needed for everyone. Continue to read signs of stress in your children and let that guide what is needed for each day.
Today’s target skill is letting go of the rope. This is a kid-friendly phrase for “managing conflicts”. On a daily basis there may be arguments, disagreements, or differences in opinions. This is all normal; however, these may be intensified as we spend more and more time together in close proximity. We can use “letting go phrases” to avoid conflicts or to resolve conflicts once they have started. When applying this skill, think of a tug of war as a conflict and letting go of the rope as resolving conflicts.
● Tug of war is when we keep going back and forth with our words or actions and it becomes arguing or fighting.
● Letting go of the rope means no longer arguing. It may include walking away, ignoring, or using letting go phrases.
Examples of language used during a tug of war vs. letting go of the rope:
Other letting go phrases can include, let’s agree to disagree, let’s not make a big deal out of it, let’s move on, let’s take a break from this, I don’t want to argue about this, or even,let’s let go of the rope.
Suggestions for using this skill:
● Encourage your child to let go of the rope instead of engaging in a tug of war when in a conflict with others. Model this language at home using the phrases above.
● Brainstorm other letting go phrases that would be appropriate for your child to use in different situations. The more natural the phrases are for your child, the better they will be able to use them when needed.
● Sometimes our belief system includes ideas that we are stronger when we fight our battles or “finish” the argument. Try reframing these concepts to being brave and courageous by letting go of the rope or not grabbing it in the first place.
● Work on empathy to help your child be curious as to why someone else is engaging in an argument (are they feeling sad, frustrated, tired, etc.). Maybe they are sad because of something we did and if so, we can apologize and show support. Or, we may realize that friends are struggling with other things and it’s not personal. Still, we can offer support while setting healthy boundaries.
● Go to Gonoodle.com: https://family.gonoodle.com/activities/let-it-go for a short video.
We will all probably have lots of opportunities to practice today’s skill! Typically, children are asked to work as a team in many different environments (working with a group in a club, on a team, during group work in school, when working with partners, etc.). During all of these situations, being open to other opinions, using ideas from others, problem-solving, and handling conflict are important to be successful. Use this time for your family to work as a team on all of these skills. Please reach out if you need extra support during this time, we have several openings for teletherapy with our therapists. We hope you all have a wonderful weekend that involves a balance of fun and relaxation. Enjoy!
Marissa Lloyd, LPCMH