Connected Parenting During COVID-19

A message to adoptive families from Holt’s clinical services team. 

During these times, we are being bombarded by recommendations geared towards keeping up with our children’s academic needs. Such recommendations, while important, often leave out the essential task of prioritizing connection and self-care.

Our children need connected/supportive parenting now more than ever, and providing this approach should be our top priority.

Why is this important?

For all children, especially those with a history of trauma and/or multiple placements, the uncertainty can remind them of times in their past when they felt confused, afraid and/or unsure about the future. These triggers can lead to dysregulation (i.e. tantrums, disrespect, clinginess, withdrawal, obsessive/repetitive behaviors, reactivity), and regression (developmental or emotional). Furthermore, children’s capacity to learn is deeply impacted when stressed.

For those of us who are not homeschoolers or teachers, our children are not used to seeing us in that role. Adding this new role to our responsibilities, without adequate preparation or support, is stressful and unrealistic (for children and parents), and it may not play to most parents’ strengths. The isolation and uncertainty of these times impacts homeschooling parents and educators as well.

It is important for all parents to take a step back, lower our expectations, and remind ourselves that there is no manual for how to handle this unprecedented global crisis.

View this time as an opportunity to connect. Pause and do things together – bake, play, do yoga, anything can be turned into an educational experience. Enjoy your time together. We’ve got this!

Holt’s clinical team will be sharing tips periodically, but please reach out to your direct social worker or Holt’s clinical team at familysupport@holtinternational.org if you need support or have specific requests for information that would be helpful to you.

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