Scientific research has shown that the brains of children continue to develop through early adulthood. Children mimic our own behavior and attitudes, adapt them, and carry them forward into their adult lives. That means we have to be mindful and nurture their developing brains for a long period of time.
They can be positively or negatively affected by what they see. When they see their parents struggle with stress, anxiety, and confusion, they adapt those traits and act out in negative ways. When children see their parents handle crises confidently, then they in turn will feel confident. A crisis can be an opportunity to help children develop resilience and confidence.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now sheltering-in-place, and our children are observing us more closely than usual. As such, it is even more important for parents to have a plan and stay calm. Face masks and an iPad are not enough. We should also be more alert and look out for signs that our children may be exhibiting stress and anxiety that could forever impact their brain development.
If we want to stop the toxic cycles and behaviors that keep us stuck in negative situations, then we must change our own behavior and model behavior for our children that will help set them free as well.
What specifically can we be doing right now and in other times of crisis to help our children and be better parents?
To learn about “Ten Minute Parenting”, co-parenting with a narcissist during COVID-19, and specific techniques for littles and bigs, click below to watch the video.