Updated: Jun 2, 2021
Riiinnnnnng! The last school bell of the year has rung for our kiddos. It is celebratory yet it can also bring unforeseen anxieties and change.
Change is hard, no matter the age or the diagnosis, and for a mother of four sons, three of whom are blessed with special health concerns, the changes of routines are challenging and yet somehow they are manageable.
So what are some important things that a family can do which will help lessen these anxieties and changes?
Be aware of your thoughts and feelings regarding the changes and anxieties that are anticipated and deal with them before actively listening to your family members. This helps them become aware of emotions that all of you are feeling. This allows them to talk about their feelings in a way that matters to them most. This helps them feel supported and to discover their feelings which will help to lessen the impact of negative emotions.
Be present while you listen to your family members. This allows you to watch for cues that indicate something else may need addressing. It allows you to hear any unexpressed concerns that they may be struggling with and gives them the opportunity to say it out loud. It also shows them that you are not trying to fix their feelings, rather, that you are being in the moment with them, which helps them feel safe sharing their feelings.
When each family member feels safe, they will also feel supported which will help them find their own voice empowering them to develop their own set of coping skills so that they can deal with future changes more effectively. The coping skills that each of your family members, especially those blessed with special health concerns, creates and chooses to use during future incidents, will strengthen and support all involved which will make all the difference, at least until the next bell rings!