I had the pleasure of joining with my colleague Jack Silver during a recent
Jewish Family & Children’s Service’s Fall Conversation
Series, discussing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and what coping
skills we can deploy to managing during this challenging time.
My passion is primarily working with youth that have complex trauma as
well as anxiety and psychosis disorders. It is important to me that I
not only provide resources for these young people, but that I offer suggestions
for their parents and caregivers as well.
Use compassion and understanding to slow yourself down. Staying mindful of what is going on with your child will help you to slow
down your own emotions. The more you slow down, the less emotionally reactive
you will be and less likely to raise your voice. This is a stressful time
for all of us and it is important to keep in mind that children, especially
those dealing with trauma and anxiety, may have a heightened stress response.
Their biology is more sensitive to stressors which may trigger a sense
of losing control. And when you add to this mix a parent or caregiver
that is experiencing their own trauma anxiety, you see how important it
is to practice some self-care. Things that help are nutrition, exercise
and focusing on the items we do have control over, even if it is simple
as focusing on our breathe.
What steps can I take to be a better parent during this pandemic/quarantine. First it is important to realize that this is a difficult time for all
of us. But there are a few things you can do to make this a little easier.
- Set boundaries. Just because you and your child may be working and going
to school at home, doesn’t mean that the rules don’t apply.
Set boundaries together so you and your child understand the expectations.
- Set a designated workspace. That goes for you and your child. That way
at the end of their school day and the end of your workday, you can each
“close-up” and “go home.”
- Practice self-care. Take some time for yourself. That might mean taking
a walk outside, joining an online book club or simply being quiet for
15 minutes each day.