If you are planning on attending some fun summer events, such as popular festivals or the Pan Am Games, your children will have to deal with crowds and long lineups. Here are some tips to help them cope from the experts at Kids Clinic in Whitby.
1. Set the rules. A few days prior to the event, sit down with your child and review the rules and expectations. Rules should be simple, easy to follow and enforceable. Rules should tell your child what to do, instead of what not to do. For example: “Stay within reach of me so that if I stretch my arms out I can touch you,” instead of “Don’t run away from me.”
2. Determine consequences beforehand. Consequences should be simple and clear. For example, if a child is required to stay within arms reach of a parent and she breaks the rule, she will have to hold a parent’s hand for five minutes.
3. Look for warning signs that your child’s anxiety is escalating. Recognizing an increase in emotion can help prevent a meltdown. Get down to your child’s level and state, “I see that you are starting to feel anxious, so let’s take a break”. Take your child for a break in a quiet area or encourage him to practise coping strategies, such as deep breaths or counting to 10.
4. Reward good behaviour. Praise your child for behaving well (following direction, staying calm); give her attention for behaving appropriately. Parents might want to consider reward points or coupons for the day, which can be collected and used toward a prize or fun activity at the end of the event.
for more information, visit kidsclinic.ca or 905 436-1600x 4001