How to Model Coping Skills
How has your week been? If you’re an educator, home educator or parent in Victoria at the moment then your week may have been challenging. Have you gone back into the classroom? Have your children? Or are you all still at home (maybe bouncing off the walls)?
Wherever you are in the world, and whatever level of lock-down your world is in, we’re all trying to educate out children during very difficult times. And when you’re trying to do that, as a teacher or a parent, it can sometimes be frustrating and intense.
Human beings are allowed to have bad days, headaches, feel flat or cranky, or struggle to find the answers to the questions being posed. But for adults, in front of children, we feel like we can’t be human beings. The truth is, children need to see us feeling less than 100% and DEALING with it appropriately. How can we educate children to deal with their negative emotions if we never acknowledge that we experience negative emotions too?
Right now, with things in the world being so crazy, this is the perfect opportunity to model for our students and children how to deal with negative emotions well.
Take a moment to brainstorm (either on paper or in your head) how you work through your negative emotions. Do you take a breath, go for a walk, have a cuppa? What about when your can’t remove yourself from the situation? Like when you’re surrounded by 25 students and the internet’s gone down? I’m reasonably sure you don’t throw a tanty (although, full disclosure, I did one go into an adjoining office and drop the F-bomb several times). What do you do?
Now, how can you model those coping skills. The first step is to acknowledge, out loud, that you’re feeling negative emotions. Now, show how you deal with. It’s fine to say to your students or kids, “Let’s take a moment,” or “I’m a bit upset about this. I just need to take a deep breath,” or “Oh my goodness, I can’t believe this. You know what? This play a game and then get stuck back in.”
What we want you to take away from this
What I really want you to take away from this is, you are allowed to feel like crap. Not just allowed to! Doing so allows you to model how adults deal with their negative emotions in healthy ways.