In her book, The Stolen Year: How COVID Changed Children’s Lives, and Where We Go Now, author and reporter Anya Kamenetz followed the stories of real families as they navigated the unprecedented challenges the pandemic brought on. She found that few systems of support were in place to address Covid’s complete upheaval. Now, as we work our way back to “normal”, it’s important to do so with an understanding of the pandemic’s more permanent effects.
Kamenetz’s findings are in line with what we hear from families every day at The Center for Children and Youth. After such a long period of isolation, children are less inclined to be involved in social activities. Parents are struggling to connect with their children’s feelings and encourage them to participate in the world again.
So how can parents help to foster resiliency in their children when they are still grappling with their own pandemic-induced traumas?
Rather than holding themselves to a higher standard or needing to have all the answers, Kamenetz suggests that “parents and caregivers can become ‘expert companions’ to our children as they find their way past the pandemic.” You can simply stand next to your children, rather than lead them, as you both adjust to this state of near-constant change.
Children can only be resilient if their caregivers are supported as well. At CCY, our Parent Coaches are here to help you strategize how to best help your children overcome adversity in positive and constructive ways. We meet with you to discuss challenges in supporting your children based on their individual temperaments and personalities. We know that parenting is one of the hardest jobs you’ll ever do, and we advise you on how to balance your own wellbeing while still addressing your children’s needs.
The pandemic made parents feel like they had to do everything alone, but you don’t have to rebuild alone.
You need a community of support so you can just be the parent (and not the teacher, coach, and confidant as well!).
As Kamenetz writes, “We can guide the children we love into growth through, and past, this disaster and the disasters to come.” It may sound daunting, but at CCY we know that with the right tools and the right support, parents are capable of this and so much more.