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I GET YOU, AND I'VE GOT YOU!
Healthy relationships allow us to feel joy when life is going well. Healthy relationships also play a critical role in helping us cope and to feel safe when we feel anxious and stressed. Self-isolation and physical distancing in response to COVID 19 has left many of us feeling out of sync within our relationships. It’s changed the way we relate to one another. We need to do things to feel, and to stay connected. The following are some tips and activities.
Rhythm regulates the brain. Patterned, rhythmic, and repetitive activity with other people helps us feel safe and calm.
Video record you and your child(ren) singing, dancing, or drumming to their favorite song. Don’t be shy. You don’t need to be a Grammy award winning artist. Through your children’s eyes, your willingness to try is more important than how accomplished you are.
Next, take a picture, or a screenshot from the video of you and your child(ren) in action. Print the picture, and with your child’s input, come up with a title that represents feelings of connection. One parent and child came up with … “I’ve Got Your Back!”
Place the picture throughout the house where you think your child will see it (e.g. fridge, bedroom, bathroom mirror, text, above the monitor, on a keychain). If your child misplaces the picture, throws it away, rips it up, or erases the text, don’t sweat it. That’s why you saved it electronically and printed multiple copies.
If you need some inspiration, here’s a suggestion …
Claire Ryann and Dad. (2017, Jan 17). You’ve Got a Friend in Me – LIVE performance by 4-year-old Claire Ryann and Dad.
Here is a link to an instrumental version of You’ve Got a Friend in Me, complete with lyrics so that you can perform Karaoke style!
There will be moments when your child will need your help to manage feelings of fear and worry that are too big for them alone. Sometimes, when your child(ren) experience big feelings, they may not always be able to come clean and tell you. Rather than asking you for help, they may present with mysterious and complex behaviors. Don’t let the behavior distract you. When you find yourself reacting to the behavior, pull out the picture/video. It will help remind you of the important role that you, and your relationship play, in helping your child(ren) feel safe and secure.
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