Practical tips and skills to help parents and carers tune in to young people.
When our young person experiences an uncomfortable emotion such as anxiety, it’s important that they know we are there for them.
Sitting With, is a strategy we use to show young people that we are comfortable with any of their emotions and we can handle whatever it is they have to say or whatever it is they’re feeling.
How do we do it? When a young person identifies the emotion, its ok to just listen and respond non-verbally with things like a nod of the head or a knowing glance. By not saying too much or controlling the conversation we hold space for the young person to express themselves. This shows the young person that we can cope with what they have to say. This builds a strong connection and often means that Young people are more likely to go to their caregiver/parent when they are experiencing a difficult time or feeling unsafe.
This can be a challenging for parents and caregivers as it is difficult to ‘sit with’ seeing our young person feeling distressed or experiencing uncomfortable emotions.
It’s important to remember that your feelings matter just as much. Remember its ok to debrief with a partner or friend.
Stay tuned for some helpful self-care strategies for all of you wonderful, strong parents/caregivers. Hang in there.