Parenting Skills

Dr. Anna Breytman

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Dr. Anna Breytman

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Parenting Skill Building

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Parenting During the Pandemic

Parenting presents challenges that are especially pronounced in the current environment. Given that children may lack a full understanding of the facts and all the necessary coping skills, it is important to continue to assess the way in which they are managing their stressors, worries and changing circumstances.

When considering what support a particular child needs, determine first the message that you want to promote, as well as behaviors you want to foster towards well-being. Stay hopeful and positive and lead by example.

In our present circumstances, anxiety and fear are prevalent. Uncertainty is a key factor in the maintenance of stress and anxiety. Parents can provide much guidance in helping children identify their concerns.

Some of the things that children may worry about include:

  • Their own safety.
  • The well-being of loved ones.
  • Separation from important people in their lives.
  • Missing out on meaningful events and activities.

Once concerns are identified, parents and children can work together on strategies to manage difficulties in these challenging times.

Try to maintain communication and validate children’s fears in a developmentally appropriate way.

Some key tips for pandemic parenting:

  • Communication with younger children may include the use of drawing and play to examine what specific worries a child is experiencing.
  • Help identify any unhelpful thinking, such as focusing excessively on the negative.
  • Work together to identify unhelpful behaviors. In particular, excessive use of social media or constantly watching the news can exaggerate worries, emphasize focus on worst case scenarios and overestimate risk.
  • Parents can effectively model appropriate coping behavior, such as balancing acceptance of uncertainty while taking meaningful actions towards safety and well-being.
  • Self-care skills such as maintaining routines that are stabilizing and predictable, planning pleasant activities, and good sleep habits need to be reinforced.
  • In addition, developing a new hobby and staying connected with family and friends could be meaningful goals.
  • One final suggestion is to focus on the things that a child is doing well. Highlight the positive and reinforce it consistently so that a child is likely to build on the strengths they already have.

Dr. Breytman offers teletherapy counseling services. Contact her today to arrange a remote therapy consultation.

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