The Keys to Staying Connected to Your Kids This Pandemic School Year
With the disruption of Covid-19, many families are beginning this school year navigating poor connections created over more than a year of pandemic living. The good news is that you have the power to change the dynamic here, and the beginning of the school year is a great place to start.
Have positive interactions with your child
For your relationship to thrive, especially during this particularly difficult school year, you also need make time for positive interactions.
That means listening to your child’s music with them on car rides. Watch what they’re watching and talk about it with them, even if you’re not particularly interested. Ask them how SnapChat or TikTok work. Play their video game with them (which allows them to be better at something than their parents). Or simply ask them how they are with no agenda attached.
These are all deposits in your child’s emotional bank account. If there is a positive balance in that account, you are going to find not only a stronger connection with your child, but he or she is far more likely to listen to you when you need them to pay attention.
Keep your own concerns at bay
We parents carry so many fears about our kids. Will they do well in school? Will they fall into negative, destructive or even dangerous habits? Will they have friends? Will they be bullied? We all want the best for our kids, but we fear the worst. And when fear overtakes us too often, our kids pick up on it, and they take that in as a show of no confidence in their abilities. Trust your kids, and trust your parenting to date, and you’ll be better able to keep that fear at bay.
Parents I’ve worked with have suggested their kids are lazy, disappointing, even worthless. Your kids know when you judge them, believe me. Trust that they are good people, with good intentions. Remember that they are developing, and that you made mistakes when you were their age as well. Show them grace here, and it will pay dividends in your connection.
Keep in mind your parenting goals
If you ever feel you are losing your direction as a parent, in any decision or discussion you engage in, remember that you are always trying to develop competence and resilience in your kids. You want them to know they are capable in ordinary times and can make it through more trying times. If you question a parenting decision, turn to the development of competence and resilience as guides.
And remember, just making it through a school year in a pandemic is a powerful show of resilience, far more potent than A’s on a report card. So, allow your kids, and yourself, some pandemic grace this school year.
Excerpted from “The Keys to Staying Connected to Your Kids This Pandemic School Year,” written by psychologist John Duffy, author of Parenting the New Teen in the Age of Anxiety. Read the full article on CNN.
Source: CNN | The Keys to Staying Connected to Your Kids This Pandemic School Year, https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/07/health/parents-kids-stay-connected-wellness/index.html | © 2021 Cable News Network
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