Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Economy

Parenting in a pandemic: how to develop stronger family relationships during COVID-19

By Tina Montreuil

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has undoubtedly affected us. It has increased our worries and concerns about physical health. COVID-19 has added to the existing challenges parents face, and has also created greater awareness surrounding the fragility of mental health.

Yet, the second wave has also paved the way for a larger discussion on ways to promote mental well-being.

As a researcher and a clinical psychologist, I lead a research group that investigates how emotion regulation, values, and beliefs affect the development and inter-generational transmission of mental or behavioral disorders, and how these problems can impact educational achievement.

The Childhood Anxiety and Regulation of Emotions (C.A.R.E.) research group has developed a school-based program as well as a parenting program, both of which teach core coping skills that have been associated with resilience. Resilience is the capacity for an individual to remain engaged, available, and optimistic instead of withdrawn, overwhelmed, and defeated when faced with hardship and adversity.

Our research group believes that when parents are aware of their own emotional self-regulation, and when they can find space to structure meaningful family activities that promote mutual bonding, both they and their children are in a better position to learn core coping skills that will benefit individuals and family relationships.

IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC ON FAMILY LIFE
A recent report by the Australian Human Rights Commission investigated COVID-19-related concerns experienced by children aged five and older and emerging adults from January to April 2020. The report suggested that “mental health concerns resulting from COVID-19” and “impacts on family life” were among the top five concerns endorsed by youth.

Similarly, a July 2020 Statistics Canada report revealed three out of four parents experienced concerns and worries about balancing child care, their child’s schooling, and their own professional work irrespective of the child’s age. More than half of parents surveyed reported greater difficulty managing their child’s emotions as well as their own.

The arising parenting challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic may represent an opportune time for us to improve our resilience and model more adaptive strategies and skills. In turn, such skills can promote the development of resilient behaviors in our children.

Not everyone reacts in the same way to a given situation. The ability to manage strong negative emotions and shift our mindset to a more adaptive perspective can be developed at any age. Since our brain is most adept at performing a new task early in life, it’s most beneficial for people to become socialized in these fundamental life skills early. This will help children to become self-regulated, adaptive, and thriving adults.

Parents can encourage children to see pandemic changes as an opportunity as opposed to a source of anxiety.

PARENTAL EMOTIONS
Findings from our research group’s recent study, conducted with mothers, suggest that parents’ abilities to regulate their own emotions predicted how frequently and effectively they rely on supportive parenting practices. Supportive practices are things like comforting children when they experience negative emotions, engaging in problem-solving strategies aimed at reducing children’s distress, and discussing children’s emotional experiences with them. As such, these results suggest that supportive parenting is associated with children who are better at managing difficult emotions.

We also found that invalidating children’s emotional expression or ignoring or dismissing the child’s emotions contributed to poorer emotion regulation skills in children, and that such less-supportive parenting practices were linked to anxiety in adulthood. When parents themselves match or exceed their child’s emotions, they also offer less adaptive emotional coaching.

Parents may have heard the airplane safety tip to always don one’s own oxygen mask before helping a child: the same applies with emotional regulation. As parents, when we prioritize managing our own stress; tolerating greater uncertainty; and engaging in self-care activities like exercise, good sleep hygiene, and relaxation, this expands our capacity to respond calmly. This teaches our children that they too can cope and manage stress and related threats.

Supportive parenting is best achieved when a connected, caring, and responsive relationship with children is fostered early on. Supportive parenting that builds resilience is comparable to an early investment that grows with time. It is key to create as many early positive and reinforcing experiences as possible. — The Conversation

 

Tina Montreuil is an assistant professor, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology; associate member, Department of Psychiatry; and director of Childhood Anxiety and Regulations of Emotions (C.A.R.E.) Research Group at McGill University in Canada.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

Economy

WASHINGTON D.C. — The United States is seeking to form a coalition of countries to drive negotiations on a global plastic pollution treaty, weeks...

Economy

By Diego Gabriel C. Robles  THE WORLD BANK (WB) upgraded its growth forecast for the Philippines for this year and 2023, citing an “accommodative”...

Economy

THE PHILIPPINE auto industry’s sales recovery will likely be derailed if a measure reimposing excise taxes on pickup trucks is signed into law, according...

Economy

THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) may deliver a second off-cycle rate hike in early November when the US Federal Reserve is expected to...

Economy

THE ASIAN Development Bank (ADB) is planning to allocate at least $14 billion for a program aimed at easing a food crisis in the...

Investing

With the reversal of the 1.25% rise in National Insurance Contributions happening on the 6th of November, employers across the nation have an opportunity...

You May Also Like

Investing

Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...

Investing

The minute that any question pops into your head, you can simply ask Google. No longer do we have to pour over books and...

Investing

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the global population. Therefore, it is a problem that many people suffer or have suffered throughout...

Economy

Ivermectin, an existing drug against parasites including head lice, has had a checkered history when it comes to treating COVID-19. The bulk of studies...

Disclaimer: SmartRetirementReport.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.