THE FAMILY COLLECTION
You Can Survive Anything
You're far more flexible than you first thought.
As those who have children know firsthand, becoming a parent is a life-changing, challenging, long-term experience. Even before the pandemic, surveys showed that a majority of parents were struggling to balance their work demands and their desire to spend quality time with their children.
Since March 2020, however, parents have had to negotiate their own workplace demands and other responsibilities with around-the-clock childcare responsibilities. They have been spending hours helping their children navigate remote and hybrid schooling every day while also taking on increased household tasks, like preparing multiple meals a day and cleaning more often because everyone is at home.
Through it all, you don't look like what you went through. You look like what you choose to become.
Pandemic Kids Can Survive Anything
COVID has been tough, but kids have been tougher.
Too many generations have been shaped by the global crises they faced—Depression-era poverty, Cold War nuclear fears. Add to them the COVID generation. Schools closed, grandparents were kept at a distance, and summer camps were canceled. But young people learned, grew, and gained wisdom along the way.
"Twenty years from now, a kid just like me will be learning about what I went through in a history class. And I think that’s pretty amazing!" - Carolina Caraballo, 11, Bronx, New York
Little Children Still Living With You?
It can be hard to accept when your children become grown-ups. You spent years taking care of them, providing for them, and protecting them. Then you look up one day, and they're graduating college and getting married.
What do you do when they're not grown yet? Here's what you can do:
- First, give them hugs (and don't let go too quickly.)
- Read them chapter books they can look forward to daily.
- Leave a note in their lunchbox.
- Give a kiss on the top of the head when you walk past.
- Notice something they've put effort into.
You mastered the sacred art.
Can improv techniques make you a better parent? Improv actors, who happen to be raising children, say yes.
Or rather, “yes, and ...”
Using the philosophies of improvisation with your kids can strengthen communication, help you be more present, and create a calmer family dynamic.
Laugh More! It's Good For Everyone
Study after study has shown that laughing is good for the soul. But now we know something else: sharing giggles with a loved one keeps the good feelings going, according to a study published in the journal Personal Relationships.
“In general, couples who laugh more together tend to have higher-quality relationships. We can refer to shared laughter as an indicator of greater relationship quality.” -Laura Kurtz, a social psychologist from the University of North Carolina.
You're Not Alone...We Want A Nap Too.
The exhausting reality of parenthood is often depicted through humor.
Memes of frazzled parents in messy homes, before and after shots of men who lost their cool when they became dads, and GIFs of snarky moms clapping back at demanding children grace social media, offering parents the gift of reprieve in the form of a laugh. The sense that “it’s not just my house that’s crazy” feels good.
The Many Hats You Wear
As a parent, you will find yourself wearing multiple hats, playing a variety of roles in your child's life (ren). But, through it all, your favorite hat is the grateful one.
Parents have secrets no one talks about, but everyone knows.
Non-parents have images of what we do as parents. They think of getting children to bed, of reading books on the couch. They imagine diaper changes and helping with homework. Simple images — all things we do. But the reality of parenting is much more. Yes, we do these things, but we have our other secret rituals, the real things that make up a day, a week, a childhood. We have our own secret ways no one talks about, but everyone knows.
The Best Way To Get Your Child’s Attention Without Yelling!
Your children are playing loudly with their toys; it’s time to get ready for the day. You go in and tell them to get dressed.
They continue to play.
You ask again. “Come on, it’s time to get dressed.”
They ignore and continue building LEGOs.
You finally go back in and yell, “GUYS!! LISTEN TO ME! It’s time to get dressed! Go do it NOW!!!”
Next time, just sit down and look relaxed....or
Instead of trying to get louder than them, just start whispering. It’s incredible how quickly you can get their attention when you lower your voice…and how quieter they get.
By placing your hand on their shoulder and getting down on their level, you can get their attention and eye contact.
This one worked wonders in a classroom with children. You quietly say, “if you can hear me, clap your hands,” and then clap softly.
Because they deserve the best of you and not what's left of you.
The minute you become a parent, your focus turns to taking care of your new bundle of joy. And as your child grows from an infant to a toddler and beyond, you might find it’s tough to return your attention to taking care of yourself.
However, a lack of self-care can create a downward spiral. You are likely to feel stressed out and overwhelmed when you are not caring for yourself, making it tougher to be an empathetic and patient parent. In turn, you might feel guilty and overwhelmed—self-care may be the last thing on your mind.
Taking care of your spiritual, physical, psychological, and social needs will help you feel your best to be the best parent you can be. Therefore, it’s important to set aside some time for self-care even when you feel like you don’t have a single second to devote to yourself. While there are many different self-care strategies for parents, it’s important to experiment with them to determine which strategies work best for you.