Family Resources 1




RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES TO CONSIDER DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC


SOME LISTINGS TOO LONG FOR THIS SITE WILL BE SHOWN AS URL AND YOU CAN ENTER IT IN YOUR BROWSER AND GO DIRECTLY TO THE SOURCE.  OTHER SHORTER ARTICLES ARE SHOWN HERE IN FULL.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL JIM R. ROGERS AT 843 238-9291, Parentscare@sc.rr.com.  Thank you and all good wishes and courage.

FROM EARLY CHILDHOOD EXCHANGE THIS COLLECTION OF VIDEOS AND ARTICLES ON "FROM SURVIVING TO  THRIVING" CREATING A WAY FORWARD IN CHALLENGING TIMES.


https://www.childcareexchange.com/surviving-to-thriving/  


The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds

https://www.mghclaycenter.org/hot-topics/7-ways-to-support-kids-and-teens-through-the-coronavirus-pandemic/

​https://wwwhttps://www.mghclaycenter.org/


Guidance for Kids By Developmental Level

When you talk to your child or teen, it’s important to use words, phrases, and examples that are developmentally appropriate. Here are tips for helping preschool kids, school-age kids, and teens and young adults.


Preschool Kids (Ages 2- 6):
Preschool kids are more in tune to and affected by parental emotions than older kids. For them, especially, be sure to stay calm around them. In addition:
Turn off the TV, computers, smart speakers when they are around. They will hear things or see images that are potentially scary.
Be careful in talking about the situation with other adults or older siblings around them.
Younger kids may need a bit more TLC and cuddles than older kids. If you’re concerned about transmitting illness, then sitting close, or perhaps sleeping in the same room is comforting.
Make preventive measures such as washing hands or wiping surfaces a playful game.

School-age Children (Ages 7-12):
Kids in first to sixth grade can understand more about a contagious disease. Explain that the germs causing COVID-19 are like ones that cause a cold. Remind them that these illnesses can spread easily, but that they can also be prevented, which is why we need to wash our hands, use tissues, and use alcohol wipes.
Kids this age thrive on routine. Try to keep to daily schedules as typical as always, even if you are quarantined at home. Explain that the reason you stocked up on a month’s supply of food and are not going to school or work is to help your community by not spreading the disease to others.
Younger school-age kids cope with their fears through play. They may play doctor or use a Lego set to create a hospital helping people. This is a normal way for them to manage their anxieties including repeating their games over and over.
Some school-age kids will become more clingy and demanding. Such “regression” is a way of expressing fear. This is not the time to simply tell them to “grow up,” even if the behavior is frustrating. They may need more time with you – reading to them, watching a TV show together, drawing, or playing.
Turn off the TV other digital media as much as possible. School-age kids may not understand everything they hear and see on the screen. For example, if there are reports of outbreaks or deaths on the other side of the country, they may not know how far this is or that germs cannot spread to their house from distant places.

 Adolescents and Young Adults (Ages 13 – 18+):
Teens and young adults have likely heard a lot about COVID-19 and its potential danger. They are old enough to understand how it spreads, preventative measures, and future risks. Have open conversations, beginning with open-ended questions about what they know, what they are worried about, and how they are feeling.
Kids this age are mature enough to watch the news with you or go online and explore trusted sites to learn more about the disease. Sit with them while viewing and have conversations about what they see and read, and how the illness may impact their lives.
Teens and young adults may be help you shop for supplies, play with younger siblings, prepare meals, and do other tasks to prepare for possible quarantine. Including them in the effort to protect the family helps them feel valued, and this empowerment lessens anxiety.

Here are some things that may help:

Get the most credible information you can. Focus on fact-based, helpful information about the virus. Avoid endless social media streams, which can be filled with misinformation, and constant breaking news headlines, which can fuel your concerns. Stay up to date with notices from your child’s school, your state, and your city or town. Anxiety is best contained if you know the guidelines for protecting you and your loved ones, including hand washing, cleaning surfaces, use of sanitizers, whether you or your family need to be in isolation, and what supplies you should have at home in case you are quarantined.
Talk with folks who support you. This could be your partner, a parent, a friend, a spiritual leader, or another trusted adult you can confide in.
Take care of your physical health. Get a good amount of sleep and exercise and use other ways to reduce anxiety, such as meditation, yoga, listening to music, or watching a TV show.
If your child asks if you are worried, be honest! They will know if you are not telling them the truth. You can say things like: “Yes, I’m worried about the virus, but I know that there are ways to prevent its spread and take care of the family if one of us gets sick.”

Guidance for Helping Kids of All Ages
1. Control Your Own Anxiety
Many of us are worried about the current situation and living with uncertainty isn’t easy. Yet, anxiety is “contagious.” Your kids will know that you are nervous even if you try to hide it. So how can you keep your cool, despite your own worries? Here are some things that may help:
Get the most credible information you can. Focus on fact-based, helpful information about the virus. Avoid endless social media streams, which can be filled with misinformation, and constant breaking news headlines, which can fuel your concerns. Stay up to date with notices from your child’s school, your state, and your city or town. Anxiety is best contained if you know the guidelines for protecting you and your loved ones, including hand washing, cleaning surfaces, use of sanitizers, whether you or your family need to be in isolation, and what supplies you should have at home in case you are quarantined.
Talk with folks who support you. This could be your partner, a parent, a friend, a spiritual leader, or another trusted adult you can confide in.
Take care of your physical health. Get a good amount of sleep and exercise and use other ways to reduce anxiety, such as meditation, yoga, listening to music, or watching a TV show.
If your child asks if you are worried, be honest! They will know if you are not telling them the truth. You can say things like: “Yes, I’m worried about the virus, but I know that there are ways to prevent its spread and take care of the family if one of us gets sick.”
2. Approach Your Kids and Ask What They Know
Most children will have heard about COVID-19, particularly school-age kids and adolescents. They may have read things online, seen something on TV, or heard friends or teachers talk about the illness. Others may have overheard you talking about it. There is a lot of misinformation out there, so don’t assume that they know specifics about the situation or that the information they have is correct. Ask open ended questions:
What have you heard about the coronavirus?
Where did you hear about it?
What are your major concerns or worries?
Do you have any questions I can help you answer?
How are you feeling about the Coronavirus?
Once you know what information they have and what they’re concerned about, then you can help to fill in any necessary gaps.
3. Validate Their Feelings and Concerns
Kids may have all sorts of reactions to the COVID-19. Some may be realistic, while others exaggerated. For example, if grandma is in a nursing home, they may have heard that older adults get sicker than healthier, younger individuals. You need to be able to acknowledge this valid concern, but can reassure them that grandma has the best medical care to manage the illness. Alternately, a child may be terrified that animals will get the virus such as a beloved pet. Again, take these feeling seriously, but then reassure them that dogs and cats don’t get the virus, so there is no need to worry about this.
4. Be Available for Questions and Provide New Information
This outbreak is likely to last a long time, so one conversation won’t be enough. At first, your child’s emotional reactions will outweigh their thoughts and concerns. As the outbreak continues and your kids get new information, they will need to talk again. Let them know they can come to you at any time with questions or worries. It’s also a good idea to have regular check ins, as they may not approach you with their fears.
When you update your kids with new information, don’t assume that they fully understand everything you say. Ask them to explain things back to you in their own language. This is an excellent way to know if your kids understood what you meant.
5. Empower Them by Modeling Behavior
An important part of prevention is hand washing, coughing or sneezing into your sleeves, wiping your nose with tissue then discarding it, trying to keep your hands away from your face, not shaking hands or making physical contact with others, and wiping surfaces with material that is at least 60% alcohol.
Be sure to demonstrate these behaviors first, so your kids can have a good model. It’s a great idea for you to wash your hands with young children singing “Happy Birthday” twice (about 20 seconds) so they know what to do on their own. Wiping surfaces as a family, after dinner, helps everyone feel part of the prevention effort. For older kids and teens, give alternatives to high fives or fist bumps, like elbow bumping, bowing, or using Mr. Spock’s “live long and prosper” Vulcan salute.
When you see your kids practicing good hygiene praise them for it! Reinforce that they are not only taking care of themselves, but also helping to prevent the spread of germs to others.
6. Provide Reassurance
Your kids may worry about how you’re going to get through this. Remind them of other situations in which they felt helpless and scared. Kids love family stories, and these narratives carry a lot of emotional weight. Try something like: “Remember that hurricane when a tree fell on the apartment?” or “Remember when the pipes burst in the house and we were flooded?” Remind them that you have been through challenging times before, and though everyone was distressed, everyone also worked together and got through it. Reliving these kinds of narrative helps the whole family to build resilience and hope.
7. Don’t Blame Others
In stressful times, when we feel helpless, there’s a tendency to blame someone or become more fearful, even when there is no evidence to support these reactions. This can create social stigma and be harmful towards certain groups of people – in the case of COVID-19, particularly people of Asian descent, and people who have recently traveled. The last thing we want our kids to do when frightening events happen is to cast blame on others, either intentionally or without meaning to.
When you ask your kids what they know about the virus, listen for anything that discriminates against a group of people, and address it in your conversation. And make sure not to reinforce negative stereotypes in your own actions and
 conversations.
Kids this age are mature enough to watch the news with you or go online and explore trusted sites to learn more about the disease. Sit with them while viewing and have conversations about what they see and read, and how the illness may impact their lives.
Teens and young adults may be help you shop for supplies, play with younger siblings, prepare meals, and do other tasks to prepare for possible quarantine. Including them in the effort to protect the family helps them feel valued, and this empowerment lessens anxiety.


FROM PARENTS TOOL BOX AND NPEN (National Parenting Education Network) WEBINARS. EXCELLENT RESOURCES LISTED BELOW TIPS.

Tips for Talking to Children about Current Events:  Effects of CO-VID on Parenting and Children --- Re-entry Phase

Working from home with kids.

Have realistic expectations. You might not get as much done or operate as usual.
Structure your day and stick to a routine schedule.
Have “office hours” 
Plan breaks throughout the day to spend with kids
Plan downtime in evening without them
Separate mom and business hat/roles
Separate yourself in the house
Use naptime or quiet time for work on focused tasks
Explore childcare options
Keep kids busy with quiet activities they can do alone. 
Find creative projects they can do that also teach or keep educational skills fresh
Strategically use technology to maximize benefits and minimize screen time.
Use visual cues to minimize interruptions
Use environmental engineering so children can be more independent
Offer choices within bottom-line limits

Parents not used to being primary teachers
Try using what the teacher provides
If children aren’t engaging, go online and find resources for teaching that subject
Use interactive activities for hands-on learning vs books/worksheets
Find creative projects that also teach or keep educational skills fresh
Use home-based supplies and activities to teach/reinforce
Cooking: measuring, fractions, etc.
Find live or recorded lessons online (many free resources, see list)
Schedule and budget time. 
Allow breaks. 
Alternate sedentary activities and moving activities

How Can Families Stay Connected? (Creative Ideas for Visitation)
Use technology creatively: Online video playdates, read stories, play games, visit online museums, art shows, exercise/dance, classes

What Can Families Do with Social Distancing?
Play games, nature, outdoor play
Projects: have siblings working together (helps teach children how to work together and get along.) Scavenger hunts, art shows, plays, create busy bags with art & craft supplies, do cooking, baking and crafts together

How to Minimize Anxiety (Your Child’s & Yours)?
Disruption causes stress, so maintain your routines as closely as you can.
Productivity and purposefulness help channel anxious energy. Help others.
Practice gratitude. Your brain will create endorphins and oxytocin which lowers anxiety and boosts immunity. (See video interview with Dr. Joe Dispenza in resource list.)
Help kids deal with their loss: graduation, sports, recitals, weddings, friends.
Appropriate response: name it, mention, recognize feelings. Don’t try to fix, just be there with them.

Parenting as a Team with both parents at home if not used to that:
Work together as a team
Discuss disagreements privately
Seek cooperation, win/win, not proving who is “right.”
Agree not to sabotage each other.
Back off and don’t interfere.
Agree to disagree respectfully.
Back up your partner with your skills.
Live the skills, don’t preach them.

Sibling Conflicts
Prevention: Involve in “team” or cooperative activities, like planning a play, cooking
Don’t fix, solve or referee. Mediate conflicts so they learn communication and behavior skills for cooperating and resolving conflicts independently.
Make sure each child gets some individual attention to prevent sibling rivalry. Try to carve out some “special” time each week (or a short time each day) with each child alone on something he/she enjoys.

Self-Care
Put on your oxygen mask first. 
Get up early or stay up late. Take care of yourself first.


CO-VID-RELATED RESOURCES FOR PARENTS.  THESE LINKS ARE PROTECTED FROM OPENING BUT I SUGGEST YOU GO TO 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Feq5yiAGbAdxMIWHhUp-B2DwHV8vHn8OT0V1fWjiKNE/edit#

 WHICH WILL TAKE YOU TO THE TIPS LISTING PLUS THESE CONNECTIONS THAT HAVE EXCELLENT TOPICS.

Trauma during COVID 
Trauma in Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic
How childhood trauma resurfaces during COVID19
The COVID-19 Crisis Is a Trauma Pandemic in the Making
Trauma-informed Parenting During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Working from home with kids
Tips from Parents Magazine (1 min video + article) & Yale University Child Study Center 
FastCompany: Age-based activity ideas children can do independently. (Filter & weed.)
Childcare options: College Nannies, Sitters and Tutors, Care.com 

How to support children’s educational needs while school is out
Parent’s Guide for structuring home schooling. ChoiceWorks$. 
Khan Academy, Teachers Pay Teachers. Math: Zearn and Prodigy, SplashLearn

Family activities to do with Children
Kansas State Extension’s “Kids a Cookin’ . Cincinnati Zoo Zoom Reading Group, ABCmouse,
Child’s Work Child’s Play therapeutic & cooperative games$, National Day calendar.
Special Needs children: Cincinnati Autism Society weekly, Fun & Function, SensaCalm$

How can families stay connected from afar (modify for visitation)
Moms over Miles and Dads at a Distance. MarcoPolo, Google Duo, HouseParty, Airtime
Tiny Beans app, Facebook Messenger for Kids, Squeeze Bracelets$$$, Friendship lamps$$
Tips for video chatting with infants. Articles by NAEYC and Zero to Three

Staying Informed & Up-to-Date, and Sharing Information with Children
Get Accurate Facts: Summary w/ links to CDC. Stats from John Hopkins Hospital (national/world). 
Facts about COVID-19 (for adults): 5 minute video from the CDC
“How to Talk to Children about COVID-19,” article with (different) CDC video 
NPR cartoon for kids, with links to download & fold. Printable coloring book "Georgie and the Giant Germ"
Suggestions from PBS for Parents, which links to PBSkids shows to help parents explain.
Psychology Today article with nice bullet list of tips. 

Reducing Anxiety (Yours and Children’s)
Kids Have Stress Too - Psychology Foundation. Resource list from NY State Dept. of MH. Mindfulness & MH
EFT: Emotional Freedom Technique. Download manual detailing the science & directions. 
FB video of Dr. Joe Dispenza – Science of how thoughts boost or compromise immunity, last 30 min. for parents on how to help children rewire their reactions.
Free webinars (with certificates, out-of-state, so you can get SW CEUs on post-approval):
Devereaux Center for Resilient Children. 
Michigan State University Extension: The “Mindfulness for Children” is good

Parenting Education/Support  
“Parenting During Constantly Changing Times,” a free monthly webinar series. Noon (EDT) on 2nd Tuesday for ALL parents, 4th Tuesday for parents of children with special needs and/or trauma history. Get a flyer to share. 

Self-care: The Brain Architects Podcast: COVID-19 Special Series: "Self-Care Isn't Selfish"
Sesame Street resources for foster parents. Quality Parenting Initiative for foster parents.
Build your support system: 

FROM ILLINOIS EARLY LEARNING PROJECT FUNDED BY THE ILLINOIS DEPT OF EDUCATION.
COVID Parenting Pep Talk: Be With Your Child’s Big Feelings

________________________________________
Reviewed: 2020
For many of us, changes in routine and lack of choices have brought on feelings of sadness, anger, and frustration. Though we may be experiencing these difficult emotions, as adults we can understand that changes to our daily routines are to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
The changes are confusing for young children because they are concrete thinkers. They rely on what they can see, feel, and experience to understand the world. Young children have a more limited understanding of the pandemic situation, so imagine how confusing it is to them that their daily routines have been totally changed by a virus they cannot see.
Grief, sadness, anger, and frustration are big feelings for young children to manage. These feelings may be strong and sudden, and that can be scary for them. Young children are learning to manage their emotions and may not know how to express these big feelings with words. They may act out in ways adults find challenging, such as having a tantrum, crying, hitting, or hiding.
When they engage in the behaviors that adults find challenging, they are saying, “I need you to be with me and help me figure out what these feelings mean!” The challenging behaviors get caregiver attention and bring caregivers nearer. However, as caregivers, we can watch for more subtle signs of big feelings and take actions to prevent big feelings from being expressed in unsafe ways.
Like many of you, I have been home with a young child during the COVID-19 pandemic. In previous pep talks in this series, I talked about how I have realized that refocusing on positive guidance and making time for connection have helped our family bring more peace to our new daily routines. However, I still find myself riding the emotional roller coaster when big feelings surface.
Take this example with my 5-year-old son. We took a walk in a park near our home. We had driven past the grocery store on our way. As we were playing in the clover, my son started to cry. He told me it had been a very long time since he had been to the grocery store and had a free cookie from the bakery. My first thought was, “it’s just a cookie and you’ve had plenty of cookies during our time at home!” However, reminding him of the cookie he had eaten earlier just seemed to make him more upset. In that moment I realized that I needed to be an “emotion coach” rather than fix the cookie problem.
Being an “emotion coach” means being side by side with children and with them in their big feelings. With my son, this meant giving him a big hug when he was so sad about not getting a free cookie at the bakery, listening to his words, and assuring him that his sadness was real. Though it seemed like a small thing, being able to choose a cookie was a big deal to him.
As I listened to his sadness, I realized it was more than a cookie. He told me how much he wanted to go to the store to help push the cart and choose groceries with his dad. Eventually we came up with a plan to bake our own cookies. Being able to choose what kind of cookie to bake gave him a sense of power in the situation.  
I know my son needed me to be with his big feeling of sadness more than he needed a batch of cookies to replace a free one from the bakery. Children’s sadness and anger is just as real as the grief and anger that adults are experiencing when they work through their feelings of frustration at not being able to travel, see friends and family, or do other activities.
I’ve tried to remember to be with my son and coach him through big feelings over the past few months since the big cookie cry. How do I know we’re making progress even though it seems as if we’re on an emotional roller coaster every day? One day, my son finished the morning snack I had given him, and he wanted another one. I told him he would have to wait until lunch, and my “no” set off an epic tantrum. Eventually he calmed down and said, “Daddy not playing robots with me and you not making me more toast and giving me corn chips makes me so mad. So mad I am feeling like biting people.”
I thanked him for not biting me and for telling me his feelings, but I stuck to my “no” and said I would give him more in a half hour when I finished preparing lunch. He was still mad for a bit, and I told him I was so proud he could express himself with words. I hope that as you coach the young children you love, you also will have moments to celebrate their growing abilities during these trying times.
Related IEL Resources
oTip Sheet: When Children Mourn
oTip Sheet: Helping the Often-Angry Child
oTip Sheet: Feelings Are Fantastic
oBlog: Feelings Are Fantastic (blog)
oBlog: COVID Parenting Pep Talk: Make Time for Connection
oBlog: COVID Parenting Pep Talk: (Re)focus on Positive Guidance
oTip Sheet: Positive Guidance for Young Children: Plan Ahead
oTip Sheet: Positive Guidance for Young Children: Take a Break and Calm Down
oTip Sheet: Positive Guidance for Young Children: Be Consistent
 Rebecca Swartz
rswartz@illinois.edu
Dr. Rebecca Swartz, an early learning specialist for IEL, completed her doctorate in human development and family studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Rebecca’s research and outreach work



FROM PSYCHOLOGY TODAY...

Parenting During COVID-19
A bulleted list to stick up on the fridge.


Coronavirus. COVID-19. Social distancing. A week ago these were obscure, unknown terms. Now our social media feeds are littered with them. We are being inundated with information. And then inundated again, because things change hour to hour. And as they do, we readjust our schedules, our daily routines, our expectations, our plans. The atmosphere is one of uncomfortable uncertainty at best, sheer terror at worst, and most of the time somewhere in between. 
Articles about how to parent right now — how to talk to our kids and help calm their fears — abound. I've read many. Contributed to some. And now I'm writing my own. Why? Because what I haven't seen yet is a bulleted list, a set of short and sweet and pragmatic tips you could print out and hang on your fridge as a reference. And so that's going to be my contribution. For today. Here goes:


Be the grown-ups. It's on us to start conversations with our kids. Continue to ask them what new things they've heard about the virus, to correct misinformation, and to answer their questions honestly and using short sentences. Kids get bogged down in words.
Point out things that are different. Birthday parties are being canceled. Mommy is working from home. (Maybe) there's no school. People aren't traveling for spring break.
Point out things that are the same. You're still having Honey Nut Cheerios for breakfast. You're still watching your favorite shows. We still have to brush our teeth.
Play, play, play. Kids work things out with stuffed animals, dolls, action figures, costumes. Let your little ones be mad at the virus, attempt to control it. Maybe Elsa casts a spell so that it freezes in its tracks. Maybe Ryder and the pups go on a rescue mission to help those who are sick. Maybe you mix a COVID-19 cure potion involving food coloring, glitter, and whatever else. 
Put your phone away for set periods of time. Our kids sense, and feel uneasy, when we are distracted. Mumbling "Mmmmhmmm" as your child tells a story, while you simultaneously scroll and swipe, is not helpful. Being intentional and clear about your phone use is. "I am going to play with you right now, so I'm putting my phone on the shelf"; and "I am going to take a few minutes to check my phone right now, so I won't be able to play for a bit."
Structure and routines are your friends. Even more than usual, and particularly as daily life looks less and less familiar. The world may feel chaotic and unpredictable, but your home doesn't have to. Consider making a daily schedule and hanging it up for all to see (use pictures if your kids can't read yet).
Validate feelings of anger and disappointment. It stinks that you had to cancel your spring break travel plans. Or your sleepover party. Or your school play. It's OK to cry, hit the couch, even yell for a bit. Spending time at your local park as opposed to Disney World is not, in fact, a "super fun adventure." Your kids are little, not stupid.
Simultaneously, model reframing and looking on the bright side. Maybe there's a lot more family time now that both parents are working from home. Or maybe your child can finally do that epic art project he's been thinking about. Or maybe he can take on a new job or chore, now that the whole family needs to pitch in, and you can emphasize what a "big kid" he's become.
Emphasize agency. Your family is not just sitting around at home passively waiting for forces out of your control to take shape as they will. No! Frame what you are doing, what we all need to do, as a set of actions. Your family is doing its part by helping to stop the virus, exercising agency by washing hands so thoroughly, working together as superheroes spreading health and safety around the world.
Answer questions with factual knowledge. Then stop. If your children have questions about the virus, answer them honestly. Then stop talking. If they have follow-up questions, they'll ask. And then you can answer again.
If your child asks the same question again and again, point that out. "But are we going to get it?" "Wait, are we going to get it?" "Are Grandma and Grandpa going to get it?" If your child continues to ask the same question, or very similar ones, then he or she is likely reassurance-seeking, which is a sign of anxiety. It's okay to acknowledge that: "Sometimes when we are worried, we ask the same question over and over. The worry fools us into thinking that will help, but it actually doesn't."
Then provide helpful, calming strategies. What does help when we're worried is getting into our bodies ("Let's do some jumping jacks!"), or doing some deep breathing ("Smell the cookies as they come out of the oven, now blow on them since they're too hot to eat"). You know what makes worry get even bigger? Worrying about the worry! ("And then worrying about the worrying about the worry!" your child may say, and suddenly you're in a playful interaction and things don't feel quite as bad anymore.)
It's OK to say "I don't know," or "I have to think about it." Our little ones need us to project a calm, clear confidence. This is not synonymous with knowing all of the answers. Pause. Think. Look something up. Ask a parent friend how they might respond.
Move your body. Jump. Dance. Stretch. Family dance party. The mind-body connection is real. When we feel grounded in our bodies, our emotional state often improves as well. 
Focus on community, both local and global. Talk out loud about how you are going to check in on your elderly neighbors to make sure they have all they need. Mention that right now everyone in the world is working together to solve this problem. Guess how many people on your street are washing their hands at the exact same time you are. Your family is not alone in handling these challenges; you are part of a greater whole.
Let your little ones play "Baby." One common way that little kids ask for extra comfort and nurturing is by playing baby, either directly ("Let's pretend I'm your baby") or indirectly (e.g., speaking in baby talk). Don't shut this down right away; rather, play along. "Oh, my little sweet baby, yes, let me pick you up and give you snuggles." Don't you kind of wish you could play baby right about now, too?
Expect regressions. When children have to adjust to a completely new routine, or are sensing anxiety around them, their developing brains can't always handle that shift on top of everything else; internal resources get allocated to the new task at hand, and something else goes. Your potty-trained toddler may start having accidents, or your self-assured kindergartner might start showing some clinginess. That's okay, and to be expected. 
Take care of yourself. The number one thing children need to stay calm during difficult times is a parent (or caregiver) who stays calm during difficult times. If you are feeling panicked or overwhelmed, do what you can to regulate yourself before attempting to calm your child. If your attempts to soothe your child are out of sync with your worried demeanor and energy, your child will notice, and this will be even more distressing for them. You're better off being honest than faking it: "I am feeling a bit worried myself right now, and so I am going to take a few deep breaths before answering your questions. Do you want to come sit next to me and we'll take them together?" 
Reach out for professional support if needed. As always, if you are worried about, or even just confused by, something your child is doing or saying, please don't hesitate to reach out to a child mental health professional for guidance. We are in uncharted territory, and you don't have to go it alone.
About the Author


Rebecca Schrag Hershberg, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, parenting coach, and author of The Tantrum Survival Guide: Tune In to Your Toddler’s Mind (and Your Own) to Calm the Craziness and Make Family Fun Again.































































                                                        TEN TIPS for BUILDING  RESILIENCE



                                                                       GOT BOUNCE?

                                                                   BOUNCE BACK!


Building resilience, the ability to cope with the fears and realities of living in a world of uncertainty and traumatic stress. It was a centerpiece of a campaign by the American Psychological Association and ParentsCare has modified some of the tips to relate to the Pandemic we now experience. We thank them.

1. Get together. Use the communication tools you have
to create a community of commonalities. Who else is in the rocking boat with you. Talk with them. Find an ally. Develop a group who can work together to support.

                                           2. Cut yourself some slack. Go a little easy on yourself and on your family. Some days are better than others and no one is perfect. When there is progress and achievement, celebrate. Applaud even the smallest of efforts.

                                              3. Create a hassle-free zone. Make your room or special area a space of your own and ask for some time ou  time out free from stress and anxieties even for a few minutes.

4. Map out a routine and stick to it. Every family member has a role. Define and carry out duties. Define expectations and consequences. Structure and order help us feel safer.

5. Take care of yourself. Physically, mentally and spiritually. Keep your self-talk positive and clear-headed. And, get enough sleep!
Sleep deprivation is a family’s enemy.

6. Take control. Even in the midst of tragedy, you can move toward goals one small step at a time. There is a place where some light will get in. It’s just hard to find. Bad times make us feel out of control. Take it back with decisive action.

7. Express yourself honestly and openly in relationships and in something to capture your emotions. Start a journal, create some art, or write poetry.

8. Help somebody to get out of a hole, depression, or self absorption. It’s amazing how minimizing your own problems by helping someone else gives you a new 
way of seeing life.

9. Put things in perspective. See these times as not your doing, and trust your fellow citizens and those in charge to do the right things and get us out of this as soon as possible. It’s happening in some way to everybody, not just you. Think about the important things that have stayed the same, even while the outside world is changing. Try to keep them that way.

10. Turn it off, but stay informed. Do not let the news capture your time and attention. Become 
selective.  manage the time any screens are used by all family members.


                                                                               ParentsCare revised 2020.