Calm the Chaos: Parenting in a Pandemic

(Unsplash/Jimmy Dean)

In her role as a trauma-informed parent coach, Lynn Beckett has had the opportunity to work with many families who have experienced the emotional and relational impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The unpredictability of quarantining, closures and schooling ushers in a sense of chaos. That chaos prevents children from being able to relax, self-regulate and feel safe.

However, parents can play a key role in connecting with their children and helping them feel safe and calm, even when the world around them is swirling.

Beckett states that she coaches parents to take their "emotional temperature." She shares that such awareness helps parents calm themselves, so they can relay stable emotions to their children: "Parents really do set the tone in the home. If parents are feeling a little anxious or frustrated, our children can really pick up on those feelings and that can make them feel unsafe, too."

In addition to setting the tone in the home, seeking to connect with one's child(ren) makes great strides in preventing and understanding misbehavior. Beckett explains that "if parents can help their kids learn how to identify their feelings and emotions, a lot of times that goes a long way in even preventing misbehavior before it ever even happens because a kid feels heard; they feel understood; they feel safe."

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Beckett encourages parents to "be curious about the sweet heart of your child and what is going on in their heart. What are they feeling? What are they thinking? What are they believing? We want to be calm as much as we can. We want to calm the chaos. And so if that means we just stop everything and we sit down together and have a snack, that's important. The laundry can wait. The dishes can wait."

For more practical tips on parenting in a pandemic, listen to Lynn Beckett's interview here.

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