Let’s be honest, 2020 has been quite a year. And as it comes to an end, it’s important to reflect on how it affected your family, how it may continue to affect your family, and to ensure you find the time to look after you.
We want to go into this time of the year proactively because we know if we reflect and think about what is going on, we can handle things better. Reflection is so important for us, as parents, but also for our children. It puts us in a space where we can answer the questions that they may have, understand why we seem to be frustrated, or why we are not as present as we wish we were.
Importantly, it gives us space to look at proactively putting things in place, so we are what we need to be for our children.
How is your family travelling as we enter this period?
We know that there may be families still separated by border restrictions. Are you feeling disconnected from your family? It may be helpful to book in some extra time to connect with your family members in the lead up to Christmas. There have also been huge financial flow-on implications from COVID-19.
Are you feeling this pressure?
How is this flowing on to your little people?
How do we have these conversations with our children?
One of the patterns we see at Parentline is a decrease in parents reaching out for help over school holiday periods. This is particularly evident during the summer/Christmas period. It makes sense on one hand as our children are home. This can be a challenge to prioritise yourself or to have potentially difficult conversations when they are within earshot. It is also a worry as this is a time when parents generally need more support, not less. If you are concerned about little ones listening, you can always go online to parentline.com.au and chat to a counsellor via WebChat.
It is so important to prioritise yourself, even when it may not feel like the right time. Sometimes it may feel selfish but it is the least selfish thing you can do for your family. We know that children do better when parents feel supported. If you feel like you need help preparing for this period, if you feel exhausted or your capacity is low after the tough year that we’ve had, give us a call and let us help. Let us listen. Sometimes you may have a specific query about your child/family or you may just be feeling overwhelmed. It does not matter the reason, we can help you reset after such a hard year which will give you more capacity to support your kids.
By Kimberley Harper, Parentline Manager Parentline is open every day from 8am – 10pm, with WebChat available from 8am–9pm. 1300 30 1300 or parentline.com.au