My eight-year-old daughter is so fed up and tired from the online schooling. It’s been going on for a long time now. No kids to play, no socializing, pressure to follow the classes in front of the screen. The same screen we try to put a limit to and tell her to avoid. Double messages, mixed feelings, lots of pressure, lots of anger hence the aggressive behavior.
My husband and I both work from home and we often have to share our home office. We are also tired. We feel the pressure too although we try different ways to cope and recharge. Three people in the house all the time – I can only imagine how it may be with more. It’s very easy to pick up on each other’s stress and mirror it. It’s very easy to let difficult situations escalate to volcano reactions.
The general advice, that I’m sure you’ve heard, is to keep everyday life as stable as before COVID and maintain a routine; as much as possible that is. Because truth is that nothing is the same. In fact, some things have changed so much so that it’s possible they won’t go back to the way they were.
What helps me deal with my daughter’s anger and put things into perspective, especially now during the COVID quarantine, is to try to think of the possible factors that may create it:
- Her specific needs that have not been met.
- Non-realistic expectations – hers and ours.
- The sense that she’s been wronged.
- The sense of not having enough control and choices over her life.
- Her fear of losing someone dear due to the pandemic.
- Physical pain.
- Unfulfilled goals.
- Punishment, conflicts.
It is neither feasible to constantly keep our children happy nor realistic to expect them to be happy all the time. Having said that, I also need to remind myself that we parents are not responsible for our children’s emotions whether positive or negative. We may strive to provide a secure and calm environment but it is they who choose how they feel. Our role is not to protect them from their difficult emotions but to help them deal with them.