"How do I make it clear to my child that I am also having a hard time?"

17 Jun 2021Updated: 4 hours ago | 52 people are reading

WOMAN reader Tonia (39) feels that she is being pulled on all sides during home quarantine. Her children ask a lot of her, but sometimes it just becomes too much for her and she wants a moment for herself. She wonders: "How do I indicate my limits?"

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Tonia: "Sometimes I really fly up against the walls. On the one hand, I am afraid that if my children see me from my "weak side", it will affect them. At the same time, I want to be able to set my limits and occasionally be able to isolate myself from my children. What should I do? ”


We put Tonia's question to Sonja van der Meulen. She provides training in "connecting communication" between parents and children. "Don't underestimate your children. They are so wise ”, Sonja starts. "Everyone has needs. She, but you as a mother too. They really understand that. "

" As an experiment, just ask them, "What do you think Mommy needs?" You will be amazed at what their answer will be. Certainly at this time, we are all looking for ways to meet our needs. This can be anything: trust, safety, autonomy, freedom… By being aware of this and also mentioning that you are doing this, it becomes easier for both you and your environment. Where one becomes quiet from walking the dog, another starts cooking and yet another starts listening classical music in the bedroom for two hours. Talk about that, coordinate it with your children and partner. ”


“ Don't wait for that conversation until the water hits your lips. Be open and honest, especially when you are calm. Feel free to be vulnerable, and indicate that there may come a time when it becomes too much for you. That you might shoot out of your shoe, even if that's not what you want. Sometimes you just slip away, and your children will understand that. ”

“ You grow up together: you learn from your child, your child learns from you. By opening yourself up in this way, you also make it clear to your children that they are not responsible for what lives in you. Of course, an altercation can sometimes be a trigger, but your response remains your responsibility, and therefore the way you deal with it. If you are all aware of that, you are already very far. ”