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How Do You Explain To Your Children The Ambiguous Loss Of Part Of The School Year?

The psychologists proved ways to help your children understand ambiguous loss of any kind

Rituals have been that we look forward to the moments when we come together with families and friends in celebration of life’s’ accomplishments, to mark the beginning of new commitments, or even to say goodbye to our loved ones or our new norms. We are experts when it comes to throwing our caps in the air during graduation ceremonies, dancing at wedding parties, or even shed tone of tears during funerals.

However, in 2020 things are kind of taking a different toll all together; graduations, classes, meetings, and other forms of gatherings all taking place on a virtual. To some, it is more intense since the education is in a pose mode, end of grade/class parties have also been canceled.

Well, by now you might be asking yourself, why I chose the term ‘ambiguous loss’. This is a term coined by the University of Minnesota, Pauline Boss, to describe a substantial loss that is not recoverable. Some of these scenarios are loss of a loved one, missing one warrior in action in times of war. Ambiguous loss is also fit to describe what we are going through at the moment from all over the world. We all like to have a higher degree of certainty that we are lacking at the moment.

Being awarded your certificate in 2020 will not feel the same as it has been in the past years. With almost all the countries having closed schools from kindergarten to the tertiary level, and the passing over to the next level being virtual, students will not have the opportunity to say goodbye to their friends as it has been the norm. this is not the case to the majority of countries and especially the less developed including my own, Kenya. Education is at standstill and students, parents’, and teachers have to wait a while longer before they are sure of getting back to school.

But, how can families help in supporting children in response to the confusion of these endings? The team at kwisepsychology.com has come up with some of the best suggestions:

 

1. Discuss The Ambiguity Involved At The Moment With Your Family

To cope with the ambiguous loss, it is wise to get to recognize that it is not possible to be in control of the situation or that we are not in a position to change what is already happening. When we understand this, we can easily adapt to the new norm of having to live virtually with people that have always been around us; extended families, friends or even teachers although being physically absent. We can all acknowledge that we are missing a whole bunch of the obvious things but at the same time embrace the new way of living.

It is more difficult for children to contemplate this ambiguity as compared to most adults. Families can help children by discussing and acknowledging the range of emotions they are experiencing during this time and touching in detail on possible outcomes. This includes the sense of loss that may come and give them hope for a better thing to come in the future.

 

2. Actively Engage Your Child In Decision Making

Often, we leave our children with a limited voice with the happenings with their lies. However, with all that is happening, we can allow them to help make decisions on their own regarding what to do with their free time during this period. This includes whom to talk to, how to organize their schoolwork at home, among others.

Take time to work with your child and understand some of the decisions that they can make on their own, take time to understand their strengths and their weaknesses. This is very important especially in moments of vulnerability where they will be in a position of focusing on what they can do.

 

3. Explore Prospects For Gratitude

Expressing gratitude is always associated with improved well-being, happiness, mental health, and stronger relationships. Parents can, therefore, come up with things that kids will be grateful for, even amid the pandemic and other unpredictable loss of time that may occur. As a parent, you can present light moments such as FaceTime with a school friend, and also showing gratitude towards others.

 

4. Approach Your Children And Yourself With Love

There are no written rules or blueprints on how to manage during this period. However, an easy-going touch of compassion and support is one of the best ways to improve your connections and build a sense of value and worth to those around you and especially the children.

 

As hard and painful as the times are, the beauty of 2020 is that we are all in this together. Due to this shared experience, we can look up to ourselves as well as others and build communities both inside and outside our homes to help us through during this time. May it be emotional, spiritual, or material support. We are all in this together.

 

6 Best Healthy Ways To Kill Boredom In Lock-Down and Quarantine

As social beings we are, being locked up in our homes is definitely an anxiety building block to most of us. As social interactions and physical interactions become limited to family and close friends, we often find ourselves overthinking and complicating things than they already are. Besides, loneliness is more common and especially if you are alone in lock down and the days and nights only gets tougher. We cannot ignore the boredom that accompanies the loneliness in both lock don and quarantine when you are alone or with your family.

However, it is wise to take a minute or two and reflect on how we really feel to be in a position to work on these feelings and improve to better. The team at kwisepsychology.com has gathered some activities that you can do alone or with your family to ease the boredom. Always remember the more you stay engaged, the more you will feel alive and hence less bored.

1. Move your body

Exercises benefits you both physically and psychologically, and there is a wide range of ways to exercise, whether alone or with family. You only have to pick your favorite.

Photo Credit NMG

Here are some of the fun work outs;

  • Search for Zumba sessions on YouTube. There is a variety of Zumba vloggers and videos in the internet and you will only have to pick the one you find interesting. Zumba is fun and enjoyable… you only feel a little tired later.
  • Take a belly dancing sessions from the internet. It will certainly make you feel good, boost your self-esteem and feel more desirable afterwards. Also, there is no shortage of belly dancing lessons from the internet.
  • Take morning runs or jogs this ensures that your day kicks off in an active mode. You can also take mid-day or evening walks away from the busy streets and appreciate it.
  • Search for yoga and meditation sessions from the internet and make it a routine. You can always put aside few minutes from your norm and practice yoga and meditation.

2. Learn to cook with your heart

Enjoy learning and trying new recipes and don’t be afraid to fail. You can enjoy this even when you are not a natural or a professional cuisine chef. The joy in this comes naturally more so when you love good food, who does not enjoy good foods anyway? Have you tried Mexican tortilla soup? Or waking up to the aroma of Kenyan samosa for breakfast?

You have been missing much in life, and it’s high time you try some of these fine dishes having crafted from the scratch.

3. Enroll for short online courses

There are different platforms that you can register or enroll to credible online courses that will improve your social skills, career, life skills or even basic technical skills such as designing or coding.

Some of these platforms offer free courses and all you have to give is your time and commitment to the, and within few days to weeks you have mastered a new skill. Learning a new skill is a healthy way of killing time and also enriching your skills, you can also pay a small fee to get a certificate thus enriching your resume.

4. Learn new languages

Do you want to tour the world without the need of a translator when the pandemic is over? Then all you need to do is search for an app and start learning a new language or register for an online class. Leaning a new language will not only help you kill your time, it will also add to the list of your skills and your resume. You can choose one or two of the UN languages.

5. Explore your artistic side

One of the famous quotes in art by Pablo Picasso claims “that every child is an artist, but the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Therefore you don’t need to be a professional artist to produce an original piece of art.

All you need is to devote your time to creating. Art allows us to find ourselves and lose yourself at the same time- thus it is not the final result that counts but the process of arriving to the final piece which has a therapeutic effect to your mind and helps in stress and boredom therapy.

When drawing, coloring or painting, you will express your feelings to the process which is the definition of therapy.

6. Save the world by fighting boredom

Your free time, your energy, skills and motivation is what the world needs during the crisis. The world need saving in many ways and your skills and ideas is exactly what the world needs.

You can save the universe in your way and remotely from your house. Some of the ways that one can save the world are;-

  • spread mental health awareness
  • sensitize people on social problems such as domestic violence, cyber bullying online
  • spread kindness, fight condemn immorality
  • educate other people on your best skills
  • take part in a volunteer program
  • start a support initiative etc.