Ah what fun my sister had with her grand kids playing with slime.
Here’s her recipe.
Ah what fun my sister had with her grand kids playing with slime.
Here’s her recipe.
It’s tough to say for sure how your child will handle this kind of loss, especially depending on who the afflicted person is. Some kids actually handle the news better than adults — they might not truly grasp the situation ahead of time, and their tendency to live in the moment will prevent them from thinking too far ahead about it. However, the loss will have a significant impact on them at some point, and they’ll need your help moving forward.
One of the most crucial factors to keep in mind with children is the need to be honest. While there may be certain details you don’t need to give them — younger children might not necessarily need the explanation of the kind of cancer, for example — it’s important they have an accurate understanding of what’s going on. Use language they can understand, and simplify when possible. Answer their questions, and be prepared to go over things more than once. You might need to address things they’ve overheard from others, so be mindful of what’s said around them and be prepared to follow up.
Some children end up feeling somehow responsible for the illness of a loved one, especially if it’s a parent or someone else especially close to them. It’s easy for them to flash to an angry memory where they shouted an angry thought or “wish,” and come to the conclusion that they have actually caused the condition. Even if your child doesn’t say they are feeling this way, make sure they know in no uncertain terms that the illness is not their fault, and there isn’t anything they could have done to prevent it. Explain that sometimes, terrible things happen and wonderful people get sick.
Talk to your child about what’s going on regularly, even if they don’t outwardly seem to be very bothered by it. They might find comfort in creating a memory box full of photos, memorabilia, and other items that remind them of their loved one. Giving them a grief journal to write down their thoughts and feelings can also be soothing, whether it’s before or immediately following the passing. If your child seems to be struggling to cope or isn’t opening up to you, they might feel more comfortable speaking to an older sibling or another family member. Try not to get upset if this is the case — it’s possible that your child sees you coping with your own grief and doesn’t want to add to it. Let them know you’re always available to talk whenever they’re ready, and that it will never be a bother or inconvenience. Even if they don’t open up right away, it’s crucial to say the words so they know the door is always open.
Let your child be involved with visiting and caring for your loved one for as long as it’s appropriate. It may be tough for them to see that person, especially if they are visibly deteriorating, but it can be an important part of understanding and coping with the ultimate death. Give them the opportunity to say goodbye, especially if you become aware that time is running low.
Losing a loved one to a terminal illness is undoubtedly a bitter pill to swallow, but try to take comfort in the fact that their suffering will soon end. Lean on your family and friends, be open and understanding of how others feel, and do what you can to help everyone move forward.
Part of a much longer article from Neptune Society
Harvard University psychologists studied what parents did who raised good kids. The conclusions they came to are mostly common sense, but often we need reminding. I will be using this study as the basis for Parent Tips from time to time.
Raising Good Kids Tip #1- Spend Quality Time with Your Children
When both parents work outside the home and children spend many of their waking hours with other adults, parents must make a conscious effort to spend quality time, regularly with their children. Just being with them, but not giving them your full attention does NOT count as quality time.
It takes work to develop caring, loving relationships with your kids. When they feel loved, they become attached to you. That attachment makes them more receptive to learning the values that are important to you.
Exercise: Try using the following questions as conversation starters.
One dark and stormy night (oh, yes, I know that first line is overused), Jane (only an alias because none of us want to think we could be like this), lost it.
It had been an exceptionally trying day with her toddler, Terror (not his real name, but definitely the right name for that day). Everything he had touched got broken, spilled, or lost. Everything he had said all day was at maximum volume and with such urgency it couldn’t be ignored.
Jane, on the other hand, had tried every good parenting technique she had ever read about. When they all failed, she fell back on screaming back at him, trying to ignore his antics, and crying.
Jane had finally gotten Terror to bed and was just sitting down to a soothing cup of chamomile tea, when Terror called, “Mommy,” in a sweet, soft voice. Touched by the change in tone and volume, she decided to go see what he wanted. Surely, this would just take a moment.
“Mommy, I want some water.”
“OK, Honey, just a minute.” Off Jane trotted to the sink to get a glass of water.
Back by his bedside, “Here you are.”
Terror looked up and said, “I don’t want any water.”
Jane shrugged, she tucked Terror under his cover and said, “Good night. See you in the morning.”
She just picked up her cup of tea when she heard, “Mommy, I want some water.”
Annoyed, she got a glass of water and told Terror to drink up. He announced that he didn’t need any water.
She said, “Are you sure? I don’t want to hear you ask for water again.”
“No, I don’t want water,” he said firmly.
She went back to her now lukewarm chamomile; she collapsed on her sofa.
Not one minute later, “Mommy, I really do need water!”
She carried the water to the room. Looked at that smug little Terror. Held the glass over his head and baptized him!
When the screaming stopped, she didn’t even really mind remaking his bed and changing his clothes. She had had the last word!
When she got back to the living room, she began to weep, “I’m the most awful mother in the world!” Fortunately, her husband was there and on his best form. “You are the best mommy Teddy (his real name) could have! You have just had one of the worst days ever with him and you both survived! Tomorrow will be better. I love you. I love the mother you are to Teddy, and I’ll pray for you. God will give you the wisdom and the grace you need to be the best possible mommy for Teddy.”
What a guy! Sometimes a good husband is better than a whole pot of chamomile tea. And the next day was better.
Here are some things to think about:
Some days are just horrible days. Everything seems to go wrong. That’s life and everyone faces days like this sometimes.
Most children have bad days sometimes. Some have more than the average, but they are still normal.
Consider the cause:
Some ways to deal with your ‘Terror’:
One mother knew she was getting too angry at her misbehaving son. She needed a time out. She took him to his room (knowing he was safe there) and told him he must stay there until they both calmed down. This was not rejection or punishment; it was a wise way to prevent a punishment explosion.
One time a teething baby cried so much and nothing had worked. To get a break from the screaming, his mom put him in his crib, closed the door and turned up the music. After a while she was able to go back and try again to cuddle and console her hurting baby. Again, knowing her limits, she took care of herself too.
Some experts suggest that you should never let a child cry like that; others say that letting them cry, if there is no other serious problem causing their discomfort, can be the only thing you can do. In this mom’s case she made a decision that helped her and her baby.
Take advantage of times when someone else can watch your child for a while. Don’t use those times for chores. Do what will really rest and refresh you.
Having a confidante, prayer partner, or friend that you can confide your anger and frustration to can make all the difference.
Pay attention to what your husband says about the situation. Sometimes he can see a solution that you can’t because you are too close to the problem.
Be ready to encourage another mom you meet that is having a horrible, no good, awful day with her child. It will make you both feel better. Midnight baptisms do give way to sunny mornings.
“How many times do I have to tell you?” Do you find yourself saying this or at least thinking it often?
When our children are not doing what we tell them to, it is a good idea to stop and think about what may be causing this to happen. When we know the why, we can usually find a way to solve the problem. Sometimes our children have just gotten into the habit of not listening, but sometimes there is a different cause. Here are a few reasons your child may not be doing what you have been telling them to do.
The wide-angle lens
If your child is very easily distracted by noises or lights or even the sensation of a breeze on their skin, he may be experiencing his world through a wide-angle lens. These children are not purposely ignoring what you say. But they hear your voice as only part of the background noise.
For any easily distracted children, get down on their level, make sure you have eye contact and then tell them what you need them to hear.
Overwhelmed with Words
Some children cannot sort out the important from the extra words in a sentence. Many parents just talk too much, especially when they want their children to hear something. The more they say, the less the child hears.
For these children, make your directions as clear and to the point and in as few words as possible.
Forgetters don’t remember what they were sent to do. It may be caused by a short attention span or it may be an inability to remember 2 or more items at a time.
For the persistent forgetter, be sure you have their attention before talking. Start with only 2 simple commands at a time. Hold up your index finger and say the first item and then the second finger and say the second item. Have the child copy your actions and words. When they can successfully handle 2 move on to 3 and gradually move to a longer list of directions.
These children get so involved with whatever they are doing that they really do not even hear you. They may look you in the eye, but their mind is still on their current line of thought. They may nod their heads and even repeat your words, yet not have heard your words.
For the overly focused child, you must set up routines. They must know that there are times to play and there are times they must do chores or other activities. Set a timer or remind them a few minutes before they must close down whatever it is that they are zoomed into. Don’t allow a game or electronic device to engage your child for too long at a time.
A few other things parents can do to be heard by their children:
Be Considerate. Don’t interrupt your children unnecessarily. If the request can be delayed, give them a reasonable time frame to complete the task.
Don’t repeat yourself. Children will get used to not listening because they know you will repeat yourself. They will wait till the very last moment to obey. Stop repeating yourself. When you know they have heard you the first time, if they don’t obey, let the consequences follow.
Our children must listen and follow directions in school. If they don’t, there are consequences. Should we expect less than teachers do?
When our children learn that they must listen to what we say, remember what they are to do, and complete the tasks in a timely manner, our homes will be more peaceful and enjoyable for everyone.