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Parenting in Uncertain Times--Strategies to Survive in a Time of Chronic Uncertainty

 

Life with a spirited child has always had its moments of unpredictable meltdowns, but the pandemic exacerbated everything. Even now, as we begin to transition out of the pandemic, uncertainty taunts us. Will schools open? If they do, will they remain open? We attempt to make plans, knowing full well they may need to be cancelled – again. 

Living with uncertainty is challenging. Add in spirit and it is exhausting.

Due to their finely tuned arousal system, spirited children get upset faster and stay upset longer. And if that wasn’t enough, they are so perceptive that they also notice and synchronize to our stress level, which means when we get upset, they go right with us. 

That is why it is so important during this time of chronic uncertainty to find ways to inject a bit of control into the day wherever you can. 

By combining small actions, you can form a comforting rhythmic routine that like a center of gravity draws your family into a cohesive system smoothly working together. Stress is reduced. Behavior and sleep improve. 

Lynn and I refer to these small actions as pockets of predictability. Points distributed throughout the day to stop, meet our basic needs and calm our arousal systems so we can look at one another, hear what is being said and think flexibly, no matter what madness is occurring around us. 

Next week we will open our series with a pocket of predictability that begins the day caring for you!  Stay tuned. 

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