Keep Calm and Connect – The Unconditional Mama
In the midst of the chaos we are in right now we all know that we need help to stay calm and figure this out. We thought it was the perfect time to bring Sam, The Unconditional Mama, onto the podcast to help us all reconnect with our families and come out of this the best way possible!
Sam started her journey into this after she, like most parents, found herself questioning a decision she made with her son. This took off into a deep dive into respectful parenting and conscious parenting. Sam’s information and experience was so thought provoking that we couldn’t let her keep it to herself so we asked for some tips to get through this very chaotic time in all of our lives.
Do you have any suggestions for work at home parents or parents with children home from school who can make the most of their time together to all come out of it successfully?
- Sam first suggests reframing the situation. Being at home with healthy kids is something we should be grateful for. Then creating independent play for your children. This means taking a hands-off approach when showing your children toys. As adults we want to jump to the end conclusion and show them exactly how the toy works. By doing that we are taking away the creativity and learning process for the kids. If we can give them the freedom to play without direction, they can let their imaginations run wild.
- To bring life back to old toys, change the setting and circumstance. You could take loose parts (legos, magnatiles, pom poms, popsicle sticks, you name it) and put them in baskets in a different space than they normally would be in. Rather than giving direction, let them be curious and create their own play with it.
- Do not interrupt play when it happens. Let the play happen. If we interrupt and break that focus and attention they will lose their ability to play on their own.
How can we let them play without setting them up to fail? We don’t want to find sharpie on the walls and spent more time adding tension and stress to the situation.
- Create a YES space. This would be a physically safe space, but also a space where you don’t have to say NO constantly. So remove the sharpies or scissors or whatever would cause you to intervene and let them play freely and safely.
- You can also use this method with snacks in the house. Set out snacks that can be eaten at any time throughout the day so the constant “Can I have this?” is removed. This takes all the tension away from food and play during that time.
How can we keep the setting calm and comforting during this stressful time?
- Remember that this time is stressful for everyone. Our children are out of their normal environment and routine and they will feed off of us and pick up on our behavior so quickly. So rather than thinking they’re giving you a hard time, think they’re having a hard time.
- Remove all triggers for you so you don’t set yourself up to fail and react. Take a breath and let yourself calm down.
- Be empathetic towards all of your child’s emotions. How would you feel if you called a friend and had to yell and cry and get everything out and their response was to yell at you to stop and punish you for it? We want to engrain now that we are a safe space for ALL feelings of our children. If we make them second guess how they feel, then they won’t be confident and comfortable as they get older. We want them to know that they will always come to us when they are happy, sad, angry, scared, etc… as they are older.
- Remember that shutting down or distracting emotions is showing them that emotions are not comfortable or welcome.
What can we do when we fail or make a mistake?
- We are human and all make mistakes. The best thing we can do is to model exactly how we would want them to. Rather than telling them to say sorry you want to show them and this is the perfect time. Tell your children when you are sorry and explain what you would have done differently. This is the perfect example to show them that they can do this as needed also.
- Remember that our goal is to connect with our children and create a relationship that is open and honest.
Remember that if we reframe this scenario and find gratitude for the situation we are in, we can use this as an opportunity to reconnect with our families and implement some new ways of interacting to create a calm and connected home. Follow Sam @theunconditionalmama on Instagram for more tips and thoughts!
We are 2 Colleens who share a passion to make the world a kinder place. We’re so happy you’re here!
We started recording our conversations.
Mondays get an undeserved bad rep.
There’s always a lot more behind our messages.
We really like to make people smile.