We are halfway through another week. As we are now multiple weeks into this new, temporary way of life, reflect on your daily schedule and routine. Is it still going well? Does your child have the structure and balance of work time and play time? Are you and your family keeping up with healthy eating habits or have you slowly started to get away from meals as snaking throughout the day has increased? We may just be getting through each day without thinking about it but today, take time to reflect and make changes to benefit you or your family.
Today’s focus skill is asking ourselves if our choices are helpful or hurtful? This strategy involves deciding if a behavior or choice will make a situation better or worse and choosing a response that will make the situation better for yourself and others. This strategy is focused on thinking ahead and predicting positive and/or negative outcomes for choices. It also teaches thinking strategies that are intended to replace impulsivity with impulse control by thinking about the best choice for the future rather than thinking of what is wanted in the moment. Empower your child to take ownership and pride in choices that are made. Use the motto, I am in charge of my choices. Use these steps to teach this skill:
Suggestions for using this skill:
● Notice and point out the positive impact of good choices. Use language such as, that is so helpful when you are kind because everyone in the home feels better and the kindness spreads. You helped all of us feel better and get along better today.
● When addressing negative behaviors (name calling, arguing, not following directions, etc.) try to avoid labels such as lazy, rude, etc. and calmly explain the impact that it has on everyone. Keep the behavior separate from personal qualities. Our children will be better able to accept the feedback. Especially during his time of stress, we are all going to say or do hurtful things without that being our intent.
● Have your child pretend to look into a crystal ball to predict what will happened when making choices. What would be the outcome of each and which outcome do we want?
● When watching TV shows/movies or reading books, discuss the choices of characters (positive and negative) and connect it to the outcome (positive and negative).
● Go to gonoodle.com for a short activity on spreading kindness: https://family.gonoodle.com/activities/make-someone-happy
● Go to gonoodle.com for a short video on helping others: https://family.gonoodle.com/activities/help-others
This is a time when we may feel that throughout this isolation, we don’t have as much of an impact on others. Instead, this may be a time when we have the greatest impact. Our kind words may mean the world to someone right now. At the same time, hurtful words may also impact people more than they typical would due to our stressed state.
Let’s be patient with one another and remember that we are all doing our best to handle this difficult time. Take time for self-care for yourself and your child. The more we take care of ourselves physically and emotionally, the better we will be able to use this skill. I hope you all have a wonderful day!