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Winter Reflection: Learning from Looking Back:

Reflection is so important to the growth of any child, but especially after the unprecedented events of last year and the beginning of 2021

Reflection is so important to the growth of any child, but especially after the unprecedented events of last year and the beginning of 2021. After such a troubling year, your child needs your support and warmth, but these conversations can be difficult.

You may be experiencing feelings of anxiety yourself, and it’s not often very easy to communicate your reassurances to your child in ways that are both meaningful and helpful. However, there are ways to make starting a dialogue of reflection with your child less painful for both of you.

How to Speak with Your Child about Difficult Topics and Emotions

Asking Questions

In the best of circumstances, talking about emotions is a frightening prospect for so many people, and this doesn’t exclude parents. One of the simplest and most effective ways to reflect on the events of 2020 is to begin by asking children questions to prompt their thinking and encourage thoughtful responses. Below are a few to get you started.

1. What is the most important lesson you learned last year?
2. What were the biggest challenges to overcome? Which were the easiest?
3. What was your least favorite moment of 2020? Which was the best?
4. What skills did you learn during lockdown?
5. How have you grown closer with your family?
6. Who do you miss seeing regularly? What don’t you miss about the “normal” world?
7. What has been your favorite thing to do during lockdown?
8. What are you angry about? What are you grateful for?
9. What things about 2020 made you sad? What things made you happy?
10. If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give yourself?

Writing Down Thoughts and Feelings

It’s easy for big feelings and emotions to bottle themselves up inside – this can be especially true for children, regardless of their age. To encourage your child to express the overwhelming feelings and emotions that came from surviving such a difficult, emotionally draining year, ask them to explore those issues through writing. Doing so will give your child a creative outlet to express themselves while at the same time reflect on a dark period in his or her young life, all while creating a physical record of their strength and perseverance.

Practicing Togetherness in 2021 and Beyond

However you choose to reflect on 2020 with your child, remember to do so with compassion and understanding. Do your best to always be present for your child, and practice togetherness in the new year as a family to bring yourselves closer together in the months to come.