This is an area to discuss the things I've done to support my relationships with my two children, things I've discovered about different forms of school in the United States and New Zealand, and any other random things we've done together.
One of the things I've heard over and over regarding our move out of the country: "kids are resilient, they can handle anything". I agree and I've raised my kids to be adaptable and resilient. However, that doesn't mean they don't feel stress from the adults in their lives and don't revert back to less-desired behaviors when they feel it. Case in point.....
Soon after dad (the husband) took off for another country, the kids have been picking at each other and doing whatever they can to push each other's buttons. I, of course, am a mess because I am now a single parent AND my parents are watching me try to parent. But with grandparent glasses on (you know, "Oh, honey, are you crying? Let me get you more ice cream"). They would never judge me for my parenting skills, but grandparent view and parent view are definitely clashing a bit right now.
It took me a day to realize they weren't just being super-annoying; they were upset and saw that I was upset. Rather than upset me further, they were taking it out on one another. How enlightened of me, right? Now, what to do about it?
I waited until the next uncommon outburst from my kids. Didn't take long. Happened to be my son and daughter, who have separate places to sleep right now, fighting over who got to get tucked in first by mom. I started by getting ridiculously frustrated, then realized my freak out was because they were freaking out. So, I stopped my blow up and pulled them both into the same room--the one I was sleeping in with my daughter. I sat them down and asked them both to explain to me why they needed me first to tuck them in. Typically, they don't have this issue. And they both told me they were scared. Not of the house, not of the rooms (they've been in them a lot). But because I was scared.
So, I asked them what would help. Lo and behold, my son said he'd like to sleep in the room with us. I was a little shocked (he had definitely started going through some tween "leave me alone, I don't need you" type stuff just a few weeks ago), but I asked my daughter if that was OK and she was happy with it. So, we all piled into the same bed: him at the foot of the bed, us with the head of the bed.
I'm not saying this will fix all of those transition times in our children's lives as they age, and it definitely wasn't super comfortable for me. But, listening to my kids and working with them at their level sure made us all feel better the last couple of nights. And kind of made me feel like a genius. Until the next thing comes up, of course.