By Nicole Fuge, MD® Managing Editor
As mums, we’re always harder on ourselves than we should be and with things being especially cray this year (thanks ‘Rona), everything has been thrown out the window and we’re all just taking it one (long) day at a time.
Mum-of-four Karina Lane, who has a background in psychology, knows that parenting can be hard work, especially as our mini baes turn from sweet babies into little terrors running around our ankles. This is when, Karina says, we’re dealing with ‘Big Behaviour’, you know – the tantrums and emotional meltdowns, boundary-pushing and answering back, and then there’s the ZERO listening and co-operation. Not fun!
“With the world struggling to cope with a health crisis, Big Behaviour is getting harder to take, right? When my kids were small, I thought sleepless nights were as hard as it got. But parenting has got harder. Babies grow into miniature people with developing personalities, tidal wave-like emotions, and problems they expect immediate help with. They’re also finding the coronavirus stress pretty hard to deal with, which makes family life tougher than usual.”
That’s why Karina has created The Connection Project, to help other mamas who feel like they’re drowning, especially in these weird AF ‘Rona times. Here are her top four tips to make mum life a little easier. You got this, babe!
1 // Stop being too hard on yourself
Be kind to yourself, and watch your expectations. This is not the time to unrealistically raise your parenting standards or make life harder for yourself. In fact, do whatever is required to make life easier right now – you can fix things back up when life returns to normal.
2 // Don’t worry too much about screen time
We are all using screens more than we’d like, and we are all worried about it. These are exceptional times, and it’s okay to loosen boundaries and let the rules slide a little. Remember staying sane is the aim of the game here.
3 // Keep your expectations realistic
If your kids are acting out or being more difficult than usual, that’s probably because their life has been turned upside down, and even with your logical explanations, this still might be hard for kids to handle. Keep your expectations realistic when it comes to behaviour (however hard that can be at times) and if you’re having trouble understanding why your children are behaving the way they are, try to see the world from their view.
4 // Maximise opportunities for connection
Seize moments to delight in your child, either with physical affection, focused attention or asking lots of enthusiastic questions about their latest Minecraft conquest. Take the time to really tune into your child, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time. This is the type of interaction that your child needs right now, to feel safe and secure in a world that is pretty scary right now.