When you first have your children, you get home from the hospital and wonder what on earth you’re supposed to do next! You’re responsible for this tiny little scrap of life in every way and all you want to do is wrap them up in cotton wool and never let harm come anywhere near them.
As they grow older and start to explore the world a bit more and they do come up against adverse events, discomfort, illness and even meanness from other children. It hurts you even more than it hurts them and you’ll do anything to make things better. The good news is that you’re probably doing just great already simply by being there.
Even better news is that you can turn your home into a safe haven for your children to come back to at the end of each day and, when they’re older, whenever adversity strikes.
Make sure your home is always warm
If your children know that there’s a warm, well-lit household always there for them then this helps them to feel secure. No matter where you are in the country, you can promise them a hearth, a hot water bottle or even a spell by the AGA for those days when it’s all too much. If you buy your home heating oil from Super Saver Oil, then you’ll also be providing these home comforts without breaking the bank.
Try to always listen to your children
If they’ve had a fall-out with their best mate, or they weren’t picked for the sports team this week, then these are major events in their little life. They may seem trivial or minor to you, but that’s because you have the benefit of quite a few years of hindsight, as well as worries of your own. However, when you’re only small, these issues loom huge, and so by spending just a few minutes listening to these woes makes all the difference.
Have a board games night at least once a month
These days families might be in the same building, or even in the same room, but on very different planets. Mum’s at her laptop, dad’s looking at sheds on his iPad and the kids are off playing whichever game they’re obsessed with this month… No-one’s talking, everyone is in their own bubble with their own solitary purpose. This bubble needs to be burst at least once a month and preferably once a week. Organise a board games session around the table, or even a popcorn and movie night, just as long as you’re united in a common purpose and you’re talking to each other.
Have one kid-only spot in the house
Many children are suffering from anxiety these days, so it’s important to let children feel they have a place that’s their own, away from parents, homework, social media and even their siblings, if necessary. This could be an under-stairs cupboard, complete with beanbags, cushions and blankets, or a tepee or alcove. Just knowing that they can retreat to this space with a book and a cuddly toy is comforting in itself, so after half an hour, they’ll probably feel more like talking.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post with Super Saver Oil.