There are still many unknowns as the pandemic pushes on around the world. It can be easy to get mired down in negative emotions, feeling behind even though the days tend to roll into one another in a blur. All this turmoil can interfere with how kids thrive.
Staying positive isn’t always easy. Kam Green, the powerhouse behind Get Up and Thrive, offered Vegas parents some absolutely useful, and some suprising, insight on how they can make a positive attitude a priority, help kids thrive and introduce more gratitude and self care into the everyday.
The busy mom of three is a writer, corporate trainer, former elementary school teacher and Afterschool program director with a Master’s in Education with a focus on Curriculum and Instruction. Green’s life motto is “Get Up & Thrive” and in all of her work she aims to mind her mindset and help others mind theirs through positive, and productive self-talk.
How can we help kids to keep a positive focus?
It may feel like you need to have every moment of your child’s day planned and that they need to do schoolwork 8 hours a day, but that is not the case. One of the most important things you can do to help your child is to-Be Flexible. You should absolutely set some non-negotiables but allow them to be a part of the conversation of what their day looks like.
This is hard for us, but it’s just as hard for them-and acknowledging that doesn’t mean you take it easy on them; it means you use perspective in your planning. They are used to the structure of school, whether they liked it or not. They got to see their friends they had lots of things figured out for them during the day and they were able to plug in and get what they needed. Now shift to the ask of self-managing while your parents or guardian possibly are working on the other end of the table or even worried about working at all, it’s a lot.
Embrace the idea that learning can happening anywhere with anything. If you feel like they want to watch TV a bit more-consider asking them some questions about the show or having them do their writing around it. Maybe the topic is on social-emotional learning and what the characters were feeling?
Focus comes from engagement and interest, so the question always has to start there. It’s easy in a time like this to put pressure on yourself of what your child’s day needs to look like, but you have a unique opportunity to build your day around what works for your family. Sit with your kids and ask them about what they would like to learn, what excites them and find a way to weave that into their day.
How can we stay positive and help kids thrive as the days grind on?
Start your day of with a self-check-in, some positive and productive self-talk and a moment to be realistic about what your day is going to looks like. Allow yourself to feel what you need to feel.
Don’t suppress it because the more you do the more likely it will spill over and out as unnecessary anger. You can’t see the positivity if you deny the negativity. Its okay to see the glass as half full, and be sad but in those moments also remind yourself “this feeling isn’t final” Sometimes we feel worst about a situation and often find ourselves filled with more negativity because we didn’t give ourselves the room to embrace all of our feelings or GIVE OURSELVES A BREAK!
This is hard on everyone, for different reasons. Embrace that and everyday start your day off with the mindset that “you can’t choose what life throws at you, but you can choose how you swing.”
What are some things you we can do to bring more gratitude to our day?
We are in unique times and we are all coping differently. One of the things that has been proven to be true is that when you reflect on things that we are grateful for it will often bring us a great sense of peace and happiness. But how, in a time like this can we find things to be grateful for?
Well perhaps its not what you have now, maybe it’s a past memory. Maybe it’s a moment you had with your kids, or friends, or family. The thing about gratitude is that it only works when its genuine. You should never force yourself to express gratitude for things that you aren’t feeling at that moment. You should seek things that bring and have brought a smile to your face and warms your heart.
One of the keys to gratitude is realizing that no matter how small the moment, or thing it’s okay to show gratitude for it. So maybe its 30 seconds of silence to take a deep breath, maybe it’s the laughter of one of your kids, or ridiculous memes that make you laugh out loud. Whatever it is-name it and give gratitude for it. The more gratitude you show the fuller you’ll feel with gratefulness.
What advice can you offer parents who are facing tough times financially?
First of all, you’re not alone. Secondly, just like everything else you must forgive yourself first and then figure out what you can do to move forward. When financial hard times hit we have to put all of our focus on what we can do, not what we can’t. After forgiveness-comes finding out where you can get help. Start by looking at your local resources and know that during this time there are many people willing to reduce, or even postpone payments for certain things.
This pandemic is causing a ripple through so many families across the world. There are local groups giving out meals, schools are still serving lunch, energy companies and other utilities are cancelling shut offs and some landlords are giving breaks on rent.
First take stock of all the things that can be put off, don’t carry more of a load than necessary. Then make a list of the things that must be addressed and start there. Sometimes by identifying the things that we can wait to address we can have more emotional energy to focus on the things that need figuring out. It’s hard to be in a financial bind whether its new to you or ongoing. But taking stock, and knowing that as hard as it might be help is available, is going to make moving forward possible.
And kids thrive when you do.