With the world being flipped upside down, our families have faced the greatest changes, uncertainties, and anxieties with the onset of the pandemic. We know that families with children involved in school and various extra-curricular activities have specifically experienced drastic changes in day to day living, with each of us feeling the weight of being together under one roof.
As we face the losses that have come with COVID-19, this has created space for us to take inventory of our relationships with our family and loved ones, especially the relationships we have with our children. Although the article highlighted in this post highlights parenting in the summer of a pandemic, at the Arizona Center for Marriage and Family Therapy, we believe these are important suggestions to consider year-round regarding parenting and the needs of our children.
Do an assessment of each family member’s psychological, physiological, and relational needs.
Help your children identify their feelings with emotional regulation (not denial or repression) as the goal.
Watch for and talk about depression, anxiety, and suicide risks.
Make individualized self-soothing plans for each child.
Fill your home with “edgy” (e.g. staying up past bedtime) embodied offerings and encourage healthy technology use.
Allow for some (although minimal) social risks. Establish a clear and consistent decision-making model for social gatherings.
Trust (and verify). Expect mistakes.
Do unique things together, with each child or as a family.
Some of these suggestions may seem unusual or unique, but with the coronavirus shaping the landscape of mental health for our children, we believe these things can be instrumental in strengthening your relationships with your family and your children.
For more information, click here to find the article that inspired this post.