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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Smyth, LCSW

Connecting During a Time of Distancing: A Guide for Parents

Click here for a phenomenal resource developed specifically for parents to help them remain grounded (calm, feeling safe) and to support their children even in their most difficult moments during these trying times. It's excellent parenting skills that are clear and applicable in any trying situation. I agree with all the strategies suggested!

This resource will walk you through how manage during these high stress times. It provides guidance on how to create a situation so your child will be able to quickly calm down and follow your directives, it will teach you how to attune to your children’s feelings and understand the behaviors you might be seeing. It provides activities to help calm and connect with your child or adolescent. Most importantly it will provide you will practices of self-compassion, a corner stone of meeting your child's needs.

It's readable in under 10 minutes, here are some of my favorite highlights:

"Observe your child/adolescent for changes in behavior. Children typically do not recognize or verbalize their distress. Their fear, anxiety, sadness, and worry can look like:

  • Fear of separating from parent(s) at bedtime, disturbed sleep

  • Clingy behaviors, whining, or tearfulness

  • Moodiness and irritability

  • Oppositional behaviors

  • Anger episodes and major meltdowns over small things

  • Sore tummy and headaches

  • Being quieter than usual

  • Appearing more alert than usual

  • They may act out events that bother them in their play and stories. Children and adolescents struggle with... Loss of...

  • Contact with teachers, classmates, and friends.

  • Prom, graduation, or other school events.

  • Safety of normal life.

  • Contact with grandparents and other family or extended family members. (Sadly, some children have even lost someone to the virus.)"

"My child’s behaviors are becoming very difficult. What can I do?

Connect: Your children feel better when they feel a sense of connection with you. Use this time of social distancing to give your children a sense of connection through shared meals, games, and conversations."

"Find gentle ways to redirect and manage behaviors. 1. Dan Siegel says, “Connect, then redirect.” For example, give a hug to a girl who won’t share, and then say, “You are a good girl, please give your brother a turn, now.” 2. Offer compromises: For example, “Let’s compromise. How about do half of the schoolwork now and half after dinner.” 3. Ask for a re-do: For example, “That’s not okay behavior. Let’s have a re-do. Please repeat with polite words.” "

Find the full article here

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