Let’s face it, we are all experiencing some level of chronic stress in the era of COVID-19, even our children. That stress could have long lasting effects on our mental and physical health. But it doesn’t have to.
As an Authorized Facilitator and Certified Instructor, I meet many parents who are trying to do their best to create protective bonds and learn how to have personal safety conversations with their children. But now, those parents are also finding themselves navigating a new parenting landscape; working from home, managing school schedules for their children, tutoring and teaching their children, making sure their families have the resources they need, remaining safe and healthy, all while trying to find some way to balance their own emotional needs.
So, what can we do to help? The key to overcoming stress is resiliency.
We can help children by instilling skills that will build their resiliency and help them through any stress or trauma they may face. These days, much of the work being done in human services and education involves being “trauma-informed.” One of the best ways to describe this shift in our perspective is for us to stop asking “what’s wrong with you?” and begin to ask “what happened to you?” That slight adjustment in language speaks volumes to the person who has experienced trauma.
The Attachment and Trauma Network recently published some material that supports families, especially in light of the chronic traumatic stress that children are experiencing now in light of COVID-19. Their work shows us, as adults, what trauma-informed behavior and language changes we can use within our families and circles of support. It can also teach all of us how to build resiliency in ourselves and in our children.
To learn more about the importance of resiliency, check our blog series on Adverse Childhood Experiences.
Looking for resources or support? Call 866.FOR.LIGHT or text LIGHT to 741741 to have questioned answered or chat with a trained crisis counselor, 24/7 at no charge. All conversations are confidential.
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