Helping children cope with grief

Most children are aware of death, but don’t really understand it. We all hope our children will never have to deal with the pain of loss and grief during childhood, but we can’t protect them from it. What we can do, is make them feel safe when it happens.

Young children will not understand the complete concept of death. Try to find out what your child does understand and what is appropriate for his/her age. Be aware of the fact that every child grieves differently, there is no manual for grieving. Show him/her that it is okay to feel sad, cry, or even be angry at some moments. Expressing feelings can help in processing the loss.

Don’t use euphemisms such as ‘he went to sleep for a long time’. It’s better to be direct and explain the person or pet has died. Using an euphemism such as sleep will make your child feel afraid to go to sleep, thinking he or she might never wake up again.

Attending the funeral can be helpful for closure, and in case of the death of a pet, arrange your own funeral. Give your child the chance to say goodbye in his own way and don’t avoid talking about the deceased ones: look into photo albums, talk about good memories and even cry together (if appropriate).

If your child is extremely upset or unable to cope with grief and loss, don’t hesitate to contact an expert!

Marlieke & Muna 🙂

Insecurities as a parent

Everyone feels insecure sometimes – that’s perfectly normal. Showing your vulnerability to your child can help  in many ways. However, as a parent it is important to keep this insecurities under control. We need to be aware of our insecurities, and not let them lead us. Being anxious and worried all the time and project this on your child will create – not surprisingly – an anxious child.

Noticing this tendency in yourself is the first step. Try to recognize the situations in which you feel insecure or anxious, and what it is exactly that makes you feel this way. Talk about your insecurities. To family, friends, even a professional. Sometimes unloading your baggage can even be enough. Hearing you are doing well as a parent, and realize everyone makes mistakes – even the parents that seem to be doing everything perfect.

We are always comparing ourselves to other parents who usually appear to be ‘perfect parents’. Don’t forget people are selective in what they post on social media. If they are having a bad day, had a huge fight with their teen, they will not post this online. So remember: everything you see online is ‘biased’.

A lot of parents in the UAE left their home country and thereby their social- and support network. With the aim to help you meet other parents, socialize, exchange experiences, etcetera, we arrange parent support groups for both moms and dads. Feel free to contact us for more information.

Marlieke & Muna 🙂

Parenting styles and their effects on children

Did you know there are different parenting styles?

You, like every other parent, have your own style of interacting with your child, whether you realize it or not. Parenting style isn’t determined by an isolated event, but by your overall behavior when engaging with your child. Whatever your style, your interactions undoubtedly have a profound impact on your child’s future.

How you were parented yourself, your experiences in life, and your values shape your personal parenting style. Your goals for your child and your definition of parenting success play an important role as well. Gaining more insight in your particular style can help you develop the skills needed to provide effective guidance and make better choices when it comes to parenting.

Diana Baumrind is a researcher who focused her research on parenting styles and their outcomes. She found four basic elements that influence the success of parenting: responsiveness vs. unresponsiveness and demanding vs. undemanding. Based on these elements and looking at the different strategies parents use, she classified 4 different parenting styles: authoritative, permissive, authoritarian and uninvolved. The style you use as a parent is influential for every important aspect of your child’s life and development, such as self-image, emotions, social skills and even academics.

Wanna learn how to be the best parent?
In our Parent Training we teach you all about parenting styles, help you recognize your own parenting style and how to use this in making the best decisions regarding parenting issues. Also, when you and your partner’s parenting style conflict, we help you in finding a way to work together.

Marlieke & Muna 🙂