Here you will find parenting articles with useful tips and strategies, links to trusted research and examples of personal experience. Some of the articles have videos that help to bring the content to life.
Diane McGregor, Kitchener ON
Now that we are a full two months into the upheaval created by the Covid-19 Pandemic, many of us are feeling the strain. One of our therapists at KW Counselling Services described it as “feeling frayed around the edges”.
That phrase really fits for me because I sure feel frayed around the edges. Another word for this is “stressed”. I am certainly feeling stressed right now! How about you? How about your kids? I am not sure any of us are exempt from feeling stressed right now.
Stress is not new to any of us. But let’s look at it in our current context. Stress is the natural reaction of our body to any demand for change. Yikes! We are all dealing with so much change right now. Stress can be a positive thing when it helps motivate us to action. It is when the demands of the task exceed our belief in our ability to cope that stress becomes negative.
This means that while we cannot change the situation as it relates to the pandemic, we can do some things to help ourselves and help our kids.
Because, kids get stressed, too!
Here are some quick strategies that may help you, your children, and your teens who are coping with stress. At the end of this article, I also post some amazing community resources you can access for further support.
It is our relationships and the connections we have with each other that are going to get us all through this. There is a wonderful neurobiological reaction in our bodies when we experience a moment of loving connection. We feel pleasure, we get a feeling of calm and we actually have a moment of feeling that things will be ok. Connection literally reduces stress! Connections happen in the tiniest of moments…
The most wonderful thing about connection is that that delicious neurobiological reaction happens for both of you! So both of you get a moment of relief from the stress in that moment of connection.
Stress brings big feelings for all of us. Out bursts, melt downs, temper tantrums. These are all normal reactions to our current situation. When we respond to a meltdown with understanding and support, it makes all the difference. I know this first hand because early on in the pandemic shuffle, I had a major meltdown with my colleagues. I am sure I shocked and upset them, but they responded to me with compassion and understanding…and messages of how valued I am to the team. This really made a difference for me and helped me cope with the stress I was experiencing.
None of us can be “super mom” or “super dad” or even “super kid” right now. We need to be kind to ourselves and to those around us. If routines are not what they were, dinners are not so great, homework is not being done…that’s all ok. I know I am just trying to get through the best that I can. Some days are way better than others. When I start criticizing myself because my house is a mess or because I have been eating poorly, I stop myself and give myself permission to be a mess. Let’s all just be easy on ourselves and our kids. We are doing the best we can. In my mind, that is pretty amazing!
Family Compass is a website of the Children and Youth Planning Table. It has information about local resources as well as a tab to help you find specific help for your child. Go to https://www.familycompasswr.ca/en/index.aspx
The Canadian Mental Health Association of Waterloo Wellington has an excellent website with many resources. Check out this link in particular. https://www.here4help.ca/
Carizon has launched a new website specifically to help people in our community cope with the demands of living through a pandemic. You can access this amazing new resource here: https://www.carizonforthecommunity.ca/