Connecting with children during the pandemic

Good Things Utah

Alisa Van of 10 minutes together joined us to talk about the timely and important topic of parenting during a pandemic, caring for your child’s mental health and your own! The demands and stress of parenting have been intensified during this pandemic, and we all feel it. Alisa assures us we can get through by focusing on connection with our children, one-on-one, every day.

Because this pandemic has ratcheted up nearly every parenting expectation, all parents are feeling heightened stress. Alisa reminds us we are not alone, we are not weak or unqualified. We will get through this, as we are resilient and so are kids.

So what can we as parents or guardians do for ourselves? We start by lowering our expectations, practicing a stress-response plan. By stopping, taking a breath, repeating a parenting message, and by acting. Re-engaging or taking a break.

It’s crucial to repair quickly when needed, and to let yourself have a bad moment! Cry in the pantry, and forgive yourself quickly.

What can we do for our children? Do not just assume “kids are resilient”, focus on one-on-one connection in short episodes. One-on-one connection will help your child feel: safe (physically, emotionally, mentally), seen (validated, understood), and soothed (comforted in verbal and non-verbal ways).

What does this Connection-time look like? Any time you are already with your child, take a minute to remind yourself to be fully present, give your full attention to your child. Communicate in verbal and nonverbal ways – you are safe, you are seen, I will soothe your struggles. This is not a new parenting task, this is meant to lesson your burden. Make the small moments more meaningful. Connection-time includes: spontaneous time, transition time, recharge time, structured “10 Minute Time” or Family Time.

Alisa will be running a free 5-Day Connection Challenge in October on her Instagram account. She also teaches a digital parenting course which will start in a few weeks.

For more information follow her on Instagram at: @10minutestogether

Deena Manzanares
Deena Marie Manzanares is a Utah native, but lived in NYC for a few years while attending the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School. Locally, she has worked as a professional actor for years in both stage and film.

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