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“How to Help the Little Ones Manage Life’s Big Stresses”

For about $100, you can get a 50 minute hour with a licensed therapist who will patiently listen to all your stresses and worries. If necessary, they will even prescribe you drugs. That is because life can get pretty hairy out there.

As adults, we know that life is neither easy nor fair. We have had at least 18 years to make peace with that inexorable fact. Unfortunately, kids have not had the same opportunity to adjust. Did I mention that life was not fair?

Life has a tendency to throw big things at little kids who are not remotely equipped to handle them. Here are some of the situations your kids might have to cope with, and how you can help them cope a little better:

Relocating

Everyone knows that even under the best of circumstances, moving can be a nightmare. There are a few things that can make moving easier. But for the most part, it is a real challenge, especially for kids.

One of the things that make it more difficult for kids is the added stress on the parents. There are a lot of balls parents have to keep in the air. When things go wrong with the move, the frustration often rolls downhill.

A quick search for “the best moving company near me” is something helpful that everyone should do; be sure to ask the questions up front that can relieve some of the stress of moving.

Don’t make price the highest priority. Ask about insurance, packaging, and handling of large items. Ask about last minute items that couldn’t be properly packed. Ask about motorcycles and boats, and anything else out of the ordinary you might need to transport. The key is to get these answers up front so that you don’t have to worry about them later.

Your kids are already going to have to deal with the loss of friends they have made, a new school, and a new neighborhood. You will have more time and energy to help them through that situation if you are not overly burdened with the logistical details of an unresearched move.

Death of a Pet

For a kid, there are few things more heartbreaking than the death of a pet. When this happens, the best thing to do is tell the truth without glossing it over. One of the more damaging things you can do is to leave the child confused about the reality and nature of death. A lost pet is one of the best ways to acclimate your child to life’s harshest reality.

As terrible as that thought seems when you read it, you would rather have to explain the death of a pet than the death of a human. But at some point, death will come to someone they know. They will learn a lot about how to deal with death just by watching you. When it is time to explain things, make sure they are in a place where they feel safe. Your words will help them. But your presence and demeanor is what will stabilize them.

Separation

No one ever plans to get separated or divorced when they get married and have kids. But sometimes it ends up being the best thing for all parties involved, including the children. And while you know that, they don’t.

The most common emotion experienced by kids in this situation is that they did something wrong, and that mommy and daddy don’t love them anymore. From their perspective, it is all about them. You have to reassure them that they are not to blame, and that they are just as loved by both of you as they always were, and always will be.

There is nothing you can do to make this easy. Life is not easy. And it is definitely not fair. Relocation, the death of a pet, and parental separation are things that a lot of kids end up going through without the proper coping tools. Remember that through it all the real and best coping tool they will ever have is you.

 

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