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Parenting Tips and Support

 

We have created a Parent and Family Support Tips for you and your family during Covid-19. We know that this is a difficult time for parents and families and at times it can be overwhelming. Use these resources daily in your home to help support your family. 
Remember this is not forever, we will get through it.

If you would like further support for you and your family, please contact Boyle FRC on 0719663000 and we would be happy to offer phone/video support.

Supports Online 

ParentingParenting 24/7 - Key messages on what works best for children and families at different ages and stages.

Mychild.ie – Parenting advice

(CYPSC Roscommon) - Positive Parenting 

Play
Tip sheets for on play for young children available in 7 languages (0-18 months, 12 months to 3 years and 2.5 to 6 years) 

Resources for play (0-6 years)

Recipes

30 minute meals

Easy ways to 5 a day

10 ways to make your dishes heathier

Nutrition

Minding your mental health during COVID-19

Mindfulness

Bereavement

Active and healthy at home

 

Daily Routine

We have created a Daily Routine template which you can use in your home. By sticking to a schedule or routine, you can provide a sense of stability, security and it gives your child clear expectations of what will be happening that day. Find the Template below in the gallery (at the end of the page). Please use this template in your home, It can be adjusted to suit the ages & stages of your children. You could also try to schedule in your own time to work, if you are working from home. Please let us know if you would like more support with this.

Gratitude Tree

I would like you to think about 5 things that you are Grateful for Today?
During times like these we also have to think about our Mental Health, as well as our physical health . As families,communities and as parents we have to try to find a balance that works for our families during Self-isolation & Social Distancing. Try practicing Gratitude each day to maintain your self-care & to help you care for those around you.

Why not try an activity with your family today - Making a Gratitude Tree. Your family can each write down 1 thing that they are grateful for each day & place it on the Tree or plant inside/outside your home.
You can get creative & shape the paper to look like leaves. If you don't have a tree/plant you can get the children to cut out some cardboard and make a tree. We would love to see your creations, you can email them or send them through Facebook Messenger. 


Communication 

It is very important for parents to be able to communicate openly and effectively with their children. The whole family is now in the home and sometimes it may get overwhelming. Improving Communication is a way to help with problem behaviours, re-enforce positive behaviours & improve relationships.
The first steps to improve and build on communication are for you to:

  1. Set a good Atmosphere by speaking in a nice tone of voice & open body language.
  2. Look at the person/child eye-to-eye, with who you want to speak to & get down to their level (go down on your honkers for younger children). ***This is so important***
  3. Get them to repeat what you have said/ or if they said something to you, then repeat it. This lets the person know that they were heard.
Having good communication between you, your children & family is very important. we have a game below in our Gallery (Snake Feelings Game) that you can print out, its very simple and can be adjusted for the ages/stages of the child. This game promotes communication of you and children’s feelings and it is also lots of fun.


The Mindful Jar

This activity can teach children how big emotions can take over, and how to find calm when these big emotions feel overwhelming.
We would Love to see your creations. Please email a picture of them to Famcomm@Boylefrc.ie or send on FB Messenger.
  • You will need an clear bottle/empty jam/sauce jar (Take the stickers off the jar so you can see through it), water and different colours of glitter.
  • Explain that the jar is like our mind and the Glitter is our thoughts and feelings. It is good to assign a feeling to the colour of the glitter. For example, Red – angry, Yellow – Happy, Blue – Sad etc. It’s important to let the child decide what colour they want to assign to a feeling.
  • Put the glitter in the jar, fill the jar with water and tighten the lid.
  • Shake the jar and explain that this is a busy mind with all of the thoughts and feelings swirling around and it makes it really hard to see clearly. That is why it’s easy to make silly decisions when you’re upset - because you are not thinking clearly. Explain that this is normal and it happens in all of us (Yes, even adults).
  • [Then put the jar down in front of them.]
  • Let them watch what happens when you’re still for a couple of moments. (The glitter will settle and the water will become clear) Explain to them that your mind works the same way - When you are calm, your thoughts start to settle and you start to see things much clearer.

Communicating Emotion

It is important that your child can name and express their emotions, especially during the current climate. If you find your child is having a lot of worries and cannot fully express them, make a Worry Monster. This can help children deal with things that are worrying or making them anxious by externalising them. They can write or draw their worries on paper and feed it to the monster (This can be done before bed or anytime worries come to visit throughout the day). Empty the worry monster in the morning and talk about the worries with your child.
Its important for the parent/carer to talk about the worries to the child and come up with a solution or re-assure the child. A solution can be using mindfulness techniques when the worries come to visit, such as calm breathing.
To make a Worry Monster you will need:
  1. ​A small tissue box/Shoe box/Cardboard Milk Carton/Jar.
  2. Let the child decorate their Worry Monster, they paint/draw on it, they can stick lots of googly eyes on him and give him a name if they want to. Cut out a mouth on the worry monster – so they can ‘Feed’ him the worries.
  3. The child can write down or draw their worries onto a piece of paper and ‘feed’ it to the monster. (It’s always good to leave lots extra pieces of paper beside the worry monster)
  4. The next morning, take the notes out of the box and talk about the worries with your child and see if they still have these worries.
Find an example of a worry Monster below in our Gallery.

Using Praise 

Praise is when you tell your child what you like about his/her behaviour. Behaviour can be anything you can see, hear or measure. Praise encourages your child’s self-esteem & confidence. By using Praise, you discourage negative behaviour and encourage positive behaviour. When you use praise, you are showing your child how to recognise when she/he does something well. You can use praise for children of different ages for different things. You might praise a younger child for holding your hand while walking, or for washing their hands. You can praise teens for doing their chore in the home, or for tiding up after themselves without being reminded. It is very important to Describe/ Show & Tell the child or teen what exactly they have done well (The Behaviour).   
The steps of Praise are:
  1. Show approval. Example “Well Done”/ “Thank You”
  2. Describe the positive behaviour that you are praising them for. Example  “You cleaned up your dishes from the table after you were finished”.
  3. Give them a reason (for wanting to repeat this behaviour again). Example: “When You clean up your dishes, it shows me that you are responsible”
Praise can lose impact if it isn’t specific/descriptive or if you use it when the child hasn’t done anything. Children are more likely to repeat a behaviour that earns praise. Even as adults, we all like praise!

 

Following Instructions

We are going to look at the a Social skill that every child should know - Following Instructions
Following Instructions is a very important skills that children will need at home, in school, in everyday situations and in later life.
The steps of following instruction for children are:
  1.  Look at the person (eye to eye). - (Parent gives instruction)
  2. Child to say "OK".
  3. Child to do what was asked.
  4. Child to check back with parent once he/she has done what was asked.
Parent/Carer can then give the child praise for completing the task.