Some Family Sharing...

Here you will find some personal sharing from us as a family, examples of what works for us… sometimes. 

 

You will find these topics covered in the Resources pages, with helpful information for you to use and create your own family stories. 

 

Acknowledge the Emotions 

We went through a big change with both our girls starting at a new school, one in year 3 and one in year 5. Even though I prepared as much as I could and managed all our expectations of how things might go, we have still had struggles and challenges.  

 

It really is a BIG change and it takes time to work through a shift like this. Some examples of things that helped with the transition 

  • Letting the girls talk through their thoughts and feelings 

  • Organising playdates with ‘new school friends’ 

  • Letting them know it’s ok to be sad and miss seeing their ‘old school friends’ each day, and that it will get better 

  • Organising play dates with some of their ‘old school friends’, so they feel that they're not missing out so much 

  • Reassuring them it takes time to adjust and get used to change, it's normal to be feeling these emotions 

  • Sharing with them how I felt at school and university 

  • Keep doing some things that are familiar and comfortable, like sport with old friends 

  • Start something new, like dance with new school friends 

 

Managing Expectations 

For my daughter it used to be absolutely critical that I gave her several days’ notice before a mufti-day (where they can wear casual clothes to school instead of the school uniform). 

 

So, we would talk about the day and also, most importantly, choose the clothes she wanted to wear ahead of time. This was to avoid a melt-down about what to wear on the day.  

 

These days she knows herself better, and realises she feels happier in the lead up to, and on the day of mufti, if she is organised with what she plans to wear. So, she organises herself a few days before the event. Fabulous! At least this part of the ‘what to wear’ anxiety on the day is not an issue.  

 

Provide Win Win Options 

I have found letting my girls make up their own rules, rewards (and even consequences) makes them feel much more committed to the process. They love having ownership and control over how things will happen.  

 

For example: 

Over the weekend I offered for my girls to personalise the old ‘Morning Routines Chart’ I had made (receive your own FREE printable version here). The girls found some pictures that they really liked and added them to their charts. The pics were to remind them to do little tasks in the morning before school, everything from clean their teeth, to pack their jumper. It definitely made it more fun and motivating for them to have pictures they had personally chosen. 

 

Then I suggested we chat about the rules, rewards and consequences for the morning routines. I was amazed at how wonderfully complex things became. It sounds like a contradiction, but they became truly invested and very creative. The girls came up with ideas and rules around… 

 

What time to get ready by each day (so that we weren’t rushing out the door and they had time to read/relax before school) 

  • that they tick off each activity on their chart and record times 

  • if they made it before time was up, they could earn ‘spare time’ 

  • that they could only use 5 mins extra ‘spare’ time per day 

 

Making sure there were both… 

  • Immediate Rewards

    • ticking the boxes when the task was done, and 

    • tallying up the spare time 

 

and​...

  • Long Term Rewards

    • a surprise gift/treat after 1 full week of making it on time i.e. all 5 days on time (extended as they got used to the process) 

    • weekly screen time earnt, and 

    • an opportunity to convert ‘spare time earnt’ into cash once per month 

    • even discussing that it might be good to save some ‘spare time’, so they have extra time to use at the start of a new month if they need it, max 20 min 

    • also if they earn 60 min ‘spare time’, it becomes a bonus and can be  converted to 1 hour = $1 

    • each day they make it on time also counts as 5 minutes screen time and if they make all 5 days on time, they earn 30 min screen time that week 

I was amazed at how detailed and specific they made it!  

A Highly Sensitive Child may go unnoticed and is often mislabeled as shy 

A highly sensitive child may become upset when watching regular TV ads or movies that other children are a-ok with. I see this sometimes in my girls. I believe a lot of childhood confusion around how different a child may feel when compared to others, can be explained by learning that they are a Highly Sensitive Child. A very positive trait of highly sensitive children is their empathy.

 

Pottering and other Calming Activities 

Find your thing… something repetitious that gives you joy. It might be knitting, Sudoku, playing the guitar, cross words, meditation, mandala colouring or peeling pistachios. 

Both my girls enjoy drawing, colouring and listening to mindfulness meditations.

 

A brief personal share: My calming activities include mindfulness and walks with the dog, but also strangely enough... Pistachio peeling. Let me explain... In an effort to improve my energy levels and general health, I decided to not drink alcohol during the week. For many of you this may be an easy feat, but for me it had become a naughty habit that was hard to break. 

 

It was Wednesday afternoon of the second week of me doing ‘the not drinking during the week thing’ and I could feel the frustration building. The girls were sitting at the kitchen bench eating their dinner and I could feel the tension (and noise) increasing. They just don’t stop talking, more specifically, they don’t stop asking questions: ‘Mama?’ ‘Mum?’' Mama?’ OMGoodness I was going to go crazy! 

 

Normally I would have reached for my glass of wine and everything would have been ok, but no! I was doing ‘the not drinking during the week thing’. For some weird reason I decided to get the container of pistachio nuts out of the fridge. I de-shelled one, and then another, and ended up de-shelling the whole container! The weirdest thing about this is, that not only did it usually drive me nuts to have to de-shell a pistachio to get to the good bit, but it I was substantially, if not completely calming. No wine required. Just nut de-shelling. Who would have thunk it! Anyhoo, the point is that the repetitive action was incredibly relaxing. 

  xo

 Anita

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