To be graceful is to move smoothly, both physically and emotionally, as well as to be gentle and kind. Parenting gracefully through this quarantine is no small feat, but I believe there are a couple of simple steps parents can take with their elementary-age kiddos.
With families around the world spending unprecedented amounts of time in close quarters – and under varying degrees of stress – emotions can run high. In good times and in hard times, parents can take steps to help their children strengthen their emotional competence. Parents may not always feel up to this task – especially in challenging moments – and yet parenting can be an opportunity for adults to strengthen their own emotional intelligence.
While some students thrived during distance learning in the spring, many others struggled with the format or with other challenges, such as concerns about safety, family finances or health. Whatever form school takes, here are four ways parents and educators can help children cope with change and uncertainty as we face the new school year.
For older adults who are separated from friends and family by distance, video chatting provides a convenient way to stay connected any time, any place. Video calling has several benefits over traditional phone calls. Seniors can see the faces of grandkids and other family members instead of just hearing their voices, making communication more personal and interactive. Video chatting also allows family members to check in on their senior loved ones and see how they are doing, which is especially important if they cannot visit often.
To be honest, it was the first time I had allowed myself to yield to the emotions bubbling beneath the surface these past few months as the world came to a screeching halt due to the coronavirus. I never cried when my daughter’s high school prom or graduation was canceled; I didn’t weep when all of our family vacation plans for the summer evaporated. I never shed a tear when I couldn’t celebrate with my 83-year-old mom on Mother’s Day for fear of making her ill. Nothing got to me—it was as if I had somehow hit the pause button on my heart, keeping it on hold from any harm. I would weather this global health crisis stoically; I wouldn’t crumble or cave or show a single sign of weakness. After all, I’m a mom—wasn’t it my job to be strong?
A feelings chart is really any tool that helps a child expand their emotional vocabulary. It helps kids reflect on their feelings and describe them with more precision.