peace at home parenting covid 19

COVID 19 Navigate the New Normal as a Family

COVID 19 Navigate the New Normal as a Family

Our current health crisis creates daily challenges that many of us have never experienced. Our children can’t easily spend time with their friends. We can’t just stop in at the local pizza place to chill out on a Friday evening. Our daily schedules are both gone and more complicated at the same time. We are facing the challenge of inventing new ways of doing things many times each day. How is your family handling the challenge of creating new ways of coping and thriving? How are you doing at authentically tuning into your own needs and modeling wellness for your kids?
 
Participants in this class will be able to:
  • Recognize the importance of slowing down and changing expectations
  • Identify family meeting strategies that suit your family and increase collaboration and cooperation
  • Apply approaches that help siblings tolerate each other with kindness
  • Apply communication and parenting approaches that focus on optimism, resilience and connection to effectively navigate the new normal as a family.
Presenter: Ruth E. Freeman, LCSW
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Why doesn’t your child sleep well?

Why doesn’t your child sleep well?

The two mistakes you may be making during your child’s bedtime routine.

By Dr. Lynelle Schneeberg, PSYD

The bad news: you may be making two common mistakes during your preschool- or elementary-aged child’s bedtime routine that are keeping your child from sleeping well.

The good news: both mistakes are easy to fix!

Mistake number one: Staying with your child until he or she is completely asleep. 

Parents often ask me, “Why does my child fall asleep quickly at bedtime but have difficulty staying asleep?” This issue is incredibly common and is most often due to the fact that you may be staying with your child at bedtime until he or she is completely asleep. Perhaps you don’t leave your child’s bedroom until those little eyelids finally close even though you’d love to knock off one or things on your to-do list or, better yet, watch some episodes of (fill in your favorite bingeable show here).

However, if you stay in your child’s room each night until your child is truly and deeply asleep, your little one will soon wake up again during the night (as all children do, usually after a sleep cycle or two). He or she will almost always call you back to his or her bedroom (or show up like a silent little ninja in yours) because he or she only knows how to fall asleep when you are present.

Mistake number two: Granting too many extra requests after the bedtime routine is (supposed to be!) over.

If your child is like most other kids, he or she will make lots of additional requests or trips out of the bedroom after the bedtime routine is over. Your child might ask for “just one more…” story or hug. She might want lots more escorted trips to the bathroom, or he might ask for another check under the bed or even ask to get up to have another snack. My daughters love theater, so I’ve nicknamed these extra requests callbacks (if your child calls you back to the bedroom) or curtain calls (if your child leaves the bedroom to find you).

You may think that if you grant all of these callbacks and curtain calls, your child will finally fall asleep. But in reality, granting all of these extra requests after lights out actually gives your child lots more of your attention which rewards your child for staying awake (not a great plan!)

How can you fix these two mistakes? 

Make sure you and your child have a cozy, comforting and consistent bedtime routine with a very clear endpoint (maybe a final kiss on the forehead). Then leave while your child is still fully awake. Remind him or her to play or read quietly in bed independently until drowsy enough to fall asleep. If your child starts making callbacks and curtain calls, try using bedtime tickets to manage these. Give your child one or two bedtime tickets when the bedtime routine is over and quickly grant a callback or curtain call or two. After the bedtime tickets are gone, remind your child that there are no more tickets but that he or she can play or read quietly in bed until drowsy enough to make the (solo) trip to dreamland.

This plan should allow you to cross off one or two of those things on your to-do list (but I think you’ve probably earned the right to collapse on the sofa and catch up on those seven episodes…)!

Good luck and good sleep! 

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From the heart, at a time when it matters most

From the Heart at a time that matters most

This is a shout out to my daughter, Andrea Grace Freeman. Pictured here is Pirate Patty. Also pictured are my granddaughter, Violet, and me. You can see that we really like each other. Yesterday while I was trying to engage with Violet on FaceTime, I pulled out Pirate Patty who is a friend of Violet's. In contrast to the effect I hoped to have, Violet burst into tears and said she wanted the doll right this minute and she just started to weep in a way that was not the usual "I want it now" kind of crying. It was a soulful, teary breakdown. Her mom appeared and leaned her head against Violet's and said, "Oh, you miss your Nana, don't you." Violet wailed, "I want to go to Nana's house." It was hard to tell who was sadder - Violet or me. And what really touched me was the way that Andrea, who tries to use my visits with Violet to catch up on the very demanding job she is trying to do at home, quickly sensed that this crying wasn't just annoyance and quickly provided what professionals call "co-regulation." She simply connected physically in a comforting way and with a soothing voice acknowledged her overwhelmed daughter's emotions. Violet's distress escalated for a few moments - even I was beginning to feel hopeless - and then she started to calm down. Mom walked with Violet to her room to find her other mermaid doll and we proceeded to have a good 10 minutes of fun and laughter with mermaid sisters being silly with each other. When I told my husband the story, he said Andrea has that "third eye" - being able to tune into the feelings under the feelings. It is probably our biggest challenge during these difficult times to be able to acknowledge our own distress and manage it enough to tune into the emotions of our children...and bring presence, acceptance and soothing to their difficulties. I guess this is a shout out to all the moms and dads who are juggling new challenges and attuning to their little ones at the same time. Thank you. Thank you.

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Channel 8 Coronavirus Interview

WTNH: Coronavirus closes schools: Expert advice about how to embark on ‘distance learning’ at home

(WTNH)– School looked different Monday as kids around the state set-up work stations in their own homes.

Charlotte Smith has five kids, ranging in age from 4 to 10. Their schools started “distance learning” due to the coronavirus update last week.

“Mom, Cruise Director, has a spread sheet about what subjects the kids have to do,” says Smith, a blogger in Southport, who encourages the kids to start the day with an active lesson like writing sentences instead of watching videos.

“Everyday we get better….both teachers, as to what they’re assigning, and parents, in terms of how we’re navigating it,” she added. Read more at https://www.wtnh.com/on-air/connecticut-families/coronavirus-closes-schools-expert-advice-about-how-to-embark-on-distance-learning-at-home/

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Working from home advice from Peace At Home Parenting

Work at home and take care of your kids full-time?

Work at home and take care of your kids full-time?

This is just too unreal…
By JoAnn Robinson, Parent Educator at Peace at Home Parenting

How will you manage in this COVID-19 world?

For many families where the adults work full-time, grappling with this extended home-bound circumstance due to COVID-19 is not easy. Here are some quick tips to help you get started:

  1. Start with the First Day. You have likely faced this circumstance before with a school/child care closure for snow. Ask yourself what have you done on those days? What’s applicable to what you can do now? Some COVID-19 experts recommend that parents limit the numbers of children kids play with and do it outdoors as much as possible where it’s easier to keep the recommended distance of 3-6’. Remember to make sure everyone washes or sanitizes their hands the right way (scrubbing for 20 seconds) before and after playing. Being in nature for a hike or playing outdoors reduces stress, and the exposure to sunlight and exercise helps to improve sleep therefore strengthening our immune systems.
  2. Success after Day 1. How much work can you do at home? Try to find flexibility in your time to allow for 15-20 minutes with your kids every 2 hours or so to increase your productivity. During those interludes, snuggle, read a short book together, and help organize the next activity. One option is to start with alternating reading aloud together and then ask them to continue without you with the mission of filling you in on what happened at the next break. For younger children, utilize coloring books the same way by starting a picture at a table near where you work and then have them finish the drawings before the next break. Legos, Train sets, even sorting socks can be brought out to the floor near your desk. Praise your child every time s/he gets involved in something you like; you will get more of what you praise—so be lavish this first week to set a positive tone.
  3. The Ultimate Balancing Act. Maintaining your energy between work and kids will require lots of discipline. Here is a great tactic my Osteopath recommended to me. Before and after your transitions to spend those quality moments with your kids, sit quietly for 30-60 sec and mindfully breathe. Count with your fingers on your right hand the five breaths you take before getting up or sitting back down to work. I developed a Flash Class “I Get So Irritated” if you would like to learn more and find yourself feeling irritable for more than a few moments each day.

“We are stronger together than we are alone.” – Walter Payton

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Peace at Home Parenting addresses COVID-19

Peace At Home Parenting offers free resources for parents to help ease family stress

  • Live Facebook events for the next several weeks – Go to our public page on Facebook – Peace At Home Parenting. I will host the first few events, offer guidance on key issues such as helping children process disappointment and fear and I will answer questions as they arise through comments. Some of our teacher specialists will join each event to respond to specific issues including those related to children under 5 and to children with social-emotional challenges.
  • Free Online ClassesWe will eliminate fees for specific live and recorded classes that will be helpful to families at this time. Some of these include:
    • “Positive Discipline for Peace At Home”
    • “Be Your Child’s Calm Center”
    • “Be Your Child’s Emotions Coach”
    • “Take the Stress Out of Parenting”
    • “Routines, Chores and Family Meetings”
  • Peace At Home Private GroupWe will open our monitored, private Facebook group to parents who reach out to us through Facebook events or email in order to expand support and connection among parents and with our teachers.

We are in the process of developing two new classes - “Help Your Child Feel Safe in a Complicated World” and “Work with Your Family so You Can Work at Home.” We also continue to offer regular private online coaching by the hour and flash coaching options (20 minutes) as a more moderately priced solution. Email us at info@peaceatparenting.com

View a list of classes >
Learn more about Private Coaching >

We wish for you safety and serenity.

Ruth E. Freeman, LCSW
Founder and Managing Director
Peace at Home Parenting LLC
Online classes and coaching for peace at home and success in school
860 933-1371
www.PeaceAtHomeParenting.com

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Toxic Stress

Help Your Child with ADHD/ADD Get Ready for College

Is it common for teens with ADHD/ADD and executive function deficit not to accept the resources to learn how to become organized? Also how do they get the help they need once in college? A common reaction to feeling disorganized, anxious, and out of sync is avoidance. To support your child who may be avoiding …

Read moreHelp Your Child with ADHD/ADD Get Ready for College

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children on swings

Preschool Perspective: Girls have long hair and boys have short hair, right?

Concerned mom submitted the following question to Peace At Home: Feeling super disappointed as I write this… It’s the first week of Pre-K for my almost 5-year-old, and at drop off today, the teacher pulled Todd aside to let him know that our son was being mean to a little boy in his class yesterday. This particular …

Read morePreschool Perspective: Girls have long hair and boys have short hair, right?

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child girl eats healthy food showing thumb up

6 Steps to Successful Lunchtime: Help Your Kindergartener Get Ready for School

Your child is already (or finally) off to kindergarten. Did you go back to school shopping? Maybe purchase a new lunch box? If this is your child’s first time with lunch away from home, help her get ready in both practical and social ways. I’ve borrowed a few ideas and added a few more I …

Read more6 Steps to Successful Lunchtime: Help Your Kindergartener Get Ready for School

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