Helping children and adults to cope with difficult events
Residents and visitors to North Kensington area are experiencing a terrible situation in many aspects. Many will be affected directly, and others indirectly. Emotions will run wild. As a life coach for kids, I feel responsibe to offer my counsel.
I am hopeful that the counsel will provide the best service available to those affected directly. Also, this document serves as a guide to parent coaching as well as coaching kids who are exposed to the situation but not directly affected.
Whatever happens in the next hours and days, the children and adults in the area will likely experience painful emotions. It is important to remember that, after the main event, people will have a regular reminder of it in the form of police, builders or the simple sight of the building.
After researching on these situations, I have put together a few simple ideas. I have made it as simple as possible, just like every good parenting courses should be.
1- Talk or Don’t Talk. It’s an individual decision. Respect other’s decision and ask them to respect yours.
While for some people talking about the event has a healing effect, for others it could feel like reliving the experience. Thus, this can create further stress. Feel free to say if you don’t want to talk about the event or if you need to talk about it.
If a child or adult wants to talk about it, just be mindful of the amount of time (attention, energy) dedicated to this conversation. If it’s becoming too much, it is time to divert the attention to other things.
When a child doesn’t want to talk about the event, let it be. However, monitor their behaviour and patterns. Look for signs of worry, any spontaneous and unusual outburst of tears or temper, changes of eating or sleeping patterns. If any of these happen, it is time to have a conversation or ask for help. Life coaching for children requires a lot of observation. In some cases you may need to make their decisions for them.
2- Stay connected with your support network (e.g. family, friends).
Make an effort to maintain a healthy social environment around you. A variety of activities, groups and locations can be a good option.
If possible, try to maintain as much of your normal routine as you can. Be aware of your emotions and feel free to give yourself breaks and time to stop and think if needed. As a professional life coach for kids, I also do parent coaching to help them gain skills to handle this kind of situations.
3- Take action
Volunteering or supporting in any way you can have an empowering effect. The work may or may not, be related to the event.
Joining or creating a group with a clear task will help focus effort and create a sense of community. Anything is better than nothing. Taking food or clothes to shelters, raising money, coaching kids to deal with their emotions or helping with other tasks. All will contribute to a sense of focus and purpose.
4- Get moving
Encourage children and adults to move physically; it can be through exercising or long walks. This is more cruicial during life coaching for children sessions. They need the constant distractions to prevent the emotions from building up.
If exercising alone, focus your attention on how your body is responding to the exercise. Keep your eyes focused in narrow areas (on trees at the side walk).
If exercising in a group, be aware and respectful of everybody’s emotions.
5- Self-regulate your emotions
Small things can trigger powerful emotions. Also, the feelings can slowly build up over time. Be aware of how you and the people around you might be feeling.
Use conscious breathing. Breath in slow and deep through the nose and exhale through the mouth for a few minutes. When you are breathing, focus your attention on a single item in the room.
Make an effort to speak slowly and calmly. This will have a significant effect on you and the people around you. Use your voice to convey a message of calm to yourself and others.
6- If in doubt, ask
There are lots of great websites and services that can help you and your children. Don’t hesitate to contact them for advice.
Whatever ideas your collect, ensure they feel suitable to you, your children and your loved ones. If they feel too demanding, reduce the activity or the length of exposure to them. Evey person is unique, let your feelings guide you through what is right for you.
Here are the best two links with powerful advice that I found.