Search This Blog

Sunday, April 25, 2021

The Cocoon and the Butterfly


There are times, motherhood can be tough. Countless of sleepless nights, tantrums we need to deal with, separation anxiety of kids, health concerns, and loads of chores. We love our kids so dearly, but there are times, we feel all wrapped up in a cocoon. And we feel exhausted, unappreciated, stressed, anxious, helpless and fearful for so many things.

I remember when my second son, who was only 3 months old then, had a seizure and he was confined for 10 days. He underwent some lab tests, cranial ultrasound and also lumbar puncture. Seeing his frail body and hearing his cries left me so helpless. It was one of the darkest times I had as a mother. It was my cocoon.

The results came out and thankfully, he was negative for infection. We were sent home and  I remembered that for weeks, I would wake up at night or early morning and just stare at him for hours and put my hand on his chest just to make sure he was breathing. 
 
With the support of my family and close friends, I managed to make it through. With prayers, my fear and anxiety gradually decreased. Now he is eight years old, quite healthy, energetic and naughty at times. He never had a seizure again. Although we still made some trips to the hospital, I was not that anxious or scared anymore. 
 
Remember, being in a cocoon is not forever. It is just a phase. Do not ever lose hope and faith. One day, the Master will take you out from that cocoon and you will emerge as a more beautiful and stronger butterfly.


 

 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

4 Ways on How to Strengthen Kids' Resilience


 

Life is full of ups and downs and we experience rejection, failure, tragedy, conflict, problems, and other challenges. At some point in our lives, we confront various problems - from personal problems to family problems, financial crisis to work conflicts, from health problem to emotional distress. 
 
The downs in life are inevitable and even our kids can never do away with this. Just like riding in a roller-coaster, it is not just all ups and sooner or later our kids will have a taste of the downs, too. 
 
It is impossible to stop the roller-coaster from going down. In the same way, it is also impossible to stop our kids from stumbling and from falling in life. That is why it is very important to strengthen our kid's resilience and prepare them when the tough times come.

Resilience

What is resilience?

According to the American Psychological Association (2012), RESILIENCE is defined “as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress—such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. As much as resilience involves bouncing back from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth.” (https://www.apa.org/topics/resilience)

Parents’ Role in Strengthening Self-Resilience

As cited in the book, Child Psychology and Psychiatry: Frameworks for Practice 2nd Edition, Professor Barbara Maughan PHD, Professor of Developmental Epidemiology at the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry of King’s College London, stated that, “Families are biologically and culturally evolved to promote children’s development. Family relationships and parenting show ongoing links with the development of children’s behavioral control, and with the regulation of their attention, arousal and emotional systems throughout childhood.  In addition, parents contribute to children’s cognitive development; socialize them into culturally appropriate patterns of behavior; promote their understanding of moral values and the development of their talents; and select and secure their access to key resources beyond the family system.” (Kuse, et al, 2011)

Here, Maughan has emphasized the significance of family relationships and parenting.  Indeed, parents play a very critical role in child’s development. Parents need to help strengthen a child’s way of coping up with these problems and stressors. Parents also need to teach and show children on how to bounce back from these tough experiences.

Even at a young age, we need to teach and show them how to be resilient. Here are some simple ways on how to strengthen a kid's resilience.

4 Ways on How to Strengthen Kids' Resilience

  • Confidence - Help build  the kids' confidence.
  • Communication – Help kids communicate their feelings and thoughts.
  • Connection - Help kids build strong relationships.
  • Self- Care - Help kids find ways to relax and take care of self.

 ·      Confidence - Help build the kids' confidence.

Confidence grows in a home that has affection, acceptance and appreciation.

 
Research studies have shown the strong link between parental affection and health & well-being. The warmth of parents’ hugs, kisses, and verbal affection result to life-long positive outcome in our children’s lives.

Even if their interests, preference or opinions may differ from us, we need to show respect and acceptance. When kids feel they are accepted, their confidence also grows bigger.

For a task accomplished or for homework finished, let’s acknowledge and appreciate our kids’ effort. Reward does not need to be in material form. By saying phrases like: “Wow! You did it!” or “Good job!” can be quite rewarding for kids and can boost their confidence.

 
To build our kid’s confidence, we also need to introduce positive thinking. Let’s teach positive affirmation and let them say these affirmations out loud. By doing so, we are helping them condition their minds to be who they want to be and to do what they want to do. Here are examples of simple sentences yet powerful positive affirmation.

 “I am good!”

“I am beautiful!”

“I am healthy!”

“I can do it!”

     Communication – Help kids communicate their feelings and thoughts.

Always remember, communication is very important in building resilience. Helping our kids communicate their feelings and thoughts to us will also help build a bridge between us. 

Aside from teaching them to communicate “positive feelings,” we also need to teach them to communicate “negative feelings.” Whether they feel happy or upset, accomplished or frustrated, they know that we are there to listen.

An open communication will also help them process their own thoughts and feelings and at the same time this will help them manage these emotions. 

         Connection - Help kids build strong relationships.

No man is an island. As the saying goes, relationships are very important in life. Our kids cannot live alone. They need others to survive.

Also, our kids will understand more of themselves through relationships. In relationships, our kids will learn trust, develop their communication and social skills, and enhance their emotional expression.   

We need to help our kids build strong and responsive relationships with others like their cousins, friends, playmates, teachers, etc. By doing so, we are also helping them build a strong emotional network and when time comes and they experience some problems in life, they will receive more emotional support.

 
Self- Care - Help kids find ways to relax and take care of self.

Kids also need to be taught on how to properly take care of themselves both physically and mentally. When our kids lose in a game or when they fail in a school test, we need to let them know that they can do something to make themselves better. 

 
We can help them find ways how to relax their bodies and minds. Self-care could simply eating ice cream, painting, listening to music, playing piano or a walk in the park. By letting them do these activities, they give themselves a chance to pause, relax and bounce back.
 
Again, these are the 4 ways on how to strengthen kids' resilience. 

  

 


When I look at trees, it really amazes me to see them stand the blizzard and the storm. They are tall, strong and flexible. Remember, these trees began as seeds.

Our children are like seeds. We need to let them get lots of sunshine and guidance, water them with attention and affection, fertilize them with discipline, and nourish them with lots love!! 

When the rain and storm come, that they may face, they will stand tall, strong and resilient like the trees!