Spending all day, every day with your loved ones could test any family to its limits. Counsellor at Nexus International School, Sherry Yap Ming Fai, aims to guide learners and their parents through this pandemic. She shares some sound advice to help us all make the most of this quality time together.
Sherry explains that each family travels through various key stages of a family life cycle. We start off as an individual, we find a partner, we have children and then we help those children develop into emotionally and mentally mature adults who are ready to launch into their own independent lives.
But no matter where your family finds itself in the cycle, she has seen the benefit time and time again of having clear rules, roles and communication in the home.
Setting clear and concise rules
Parents can really help their children by encouraging them to follow rules. If they master the art of following rules at home they’ll find it second nature to follow them at school and later on in life. When deciding upon the rules, make sure that they’re clear and concise, so that they’re easy to understand. If possible, involving your child in the creation of the rules is ideal. If this is not possible, then you should be prepared with valid reasons as to why each one exists.
It’s also essential that once everyone understands the rules, that everyone abides by them. You should try to avoid having one rule for adults and another for kids, as this could lead to confusion. For example, if you’d like your child to put their device away for meal times, then you should also not have yours at hand. But whatever the rule is, children need to know that there are consistent consequences if that rule is not followed.
Establishing your role in the family
Everyone in the house should understand and share what their responsibilities are. Children will find it beneficial to understand that their parents’ role is to lead the household. It might feel great at the time to be the good guy who lets them get their own way, but in the long term it won’t help them or you if they never hear the word no, when they make an unreasonable request.
The importance of communication
Children are learning how to deal with difficult situations from you. When communicating with your child, patience is key. When dealing with a tricky situation, always try and be a SMART parent:
- S – Step back and evaluate the best course of action and avoid making decisions when you’re angry.
- M – Meet your needs. What needs to happen for you to be happy with the outcome?
- A – Activate your communication skills. Explain to the child rationally and calmly the reasons for your decisions/ consequences.
- R – Respond by making sure you carry out the consequences which you’ve agreed upon.
- T – Take a break to reflect on how you handled the situation.
Help is at hand
It’s important to remember that no family is perfect. So if you do feel you need a bit of extra help whether you’ve a toddler, teenager or someone somewhere in the years between, expert advice is readily available.
A great place to start is with your school counsellor, who can recommend valuable online resources, parenting workshops or support groups in your area as well as offering one to one support. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved. Nexus runs regular workshops for parents on subjects such as ‘Restorative Practice’, ‘Helping your child with their Home Learning’ and ‘Understanding The Teenage Brain’.
Everybody is unique. We have different needs, aspirations, skills and strengths. The teachers at Nexus recognise these differences and enrich every child with a wealth of knowledge and experiences, so that they can craft their own success stories.
If you would like to find out more about how the teachers at Nexus can help your child flourish, please visit our website here.
This post is written and sponsored by Nexus International School