Sometimes our kids are provoked. Hurt. Genuinely brought to anger because something bad has happened and they cannot process it and they need our help. At other times there tends to be a general grumpiness that creeps into our home. One that I know is brought about by the HALT rule.
Hungry. Anxious. Lonely. Tired.
On any given day this HALT rule could apply to my tribe. And you know I forget that low blood sugar and a difficult day can make my little people cross. So this week I am determined to apply the HALT rule when I see those angry birds fly through the back door. How am I going to do that?
1. Hungry: The after school scramble is made easier if I have something substantial prepared for afternoon tea. In this cooler weather mugs of homemade soup, toast, home baked pumpkin scones or pizza scrolls all go down a treat.
2. Anxious: Be mindful and present when the little people talk, negotiate, groan and whine. Anxieties of the day may rarely be presented as, “Mum, I am really anxious about the homework this week” or ” I am worried that the girls don’t want to play with me.”Anxiety may present itself as silence, impatience, deliberate provocation of siblings.
3. Lonely: I am guilty of regularly inquiring about who the kids play with during recess and lunch break. Maybe what did you play is a better starting point than who. The what question may uncover how the play works. Children can play in a group, even as small as 2-3 kids and still feel left out and lonely if the game is not inclusive.
4. Tired: Allow the kids to have down time to recharge. This may be a run around outside, sitting quietly to watch a favourite TV show, listening to some music, reading on their bed or taking a longish bath.
I know I will get it wrong this week. I will forget the ALT and simply feed them – hungry. Or I will want answers to explain their grumpiness because I am tired and impatient. But I am going to try HALT this week and maybe even apply it to me!