There has not been one universal way that the pandemic has affected parents. But every single parent has been affected by the pandemic.
Over the past year, parents rallied. They were resilient. They were the superheroes that we always knew them to be. But at the same time, the pandemic took an enormous toll on parents. It has been a time of emotional overload—and perhaps for the first time ever, the country is recognizing the importance of parents not only in the face of a crisis, but every day.
Now, as vaccinations roll out and we all begin to plan for a new normal, parents face yet another challenge and opportunity: supporting children through the transition.
People often think about change as the before and after. But the part that parents can really help their children with is the process in between.
In our Power of Parenting™ program, transitions are recognized as key opportunities for learning and growth. Parents can help their children anticipate which aspects of the change they can control and which aspects they cannot. Together, we discuss the normal ebb and flow of emotions that children may have and how parents can use moments of uncertainty like this to help children acknowledge and communicate their emotions, building lifelong skills in the process.
Because the needs, challenges, and decisions that parents face are ever evolving, Families First launched a series of new and innovative ways to continue to be a resource for parents. This year, we launched an online Alumni portal for program graduates, which features critical parenting content, additional parenting tips, and newly developed activities that parents can do with their children at home. We also initiated new virtual alumni events to provide continued parenting support and opportunities to build social connections.
These resources demonstrate Families First’s commitment to parents even after the program is over. It’s our way to ease the transition and say, “You are still important to us. We are thinking of you. And we are committed to being a support to you throughout your parenting journey.”
Even though the end of the pandemic seems to be within sight, we know one thing for sure: Parents will continue to face unprecedented challenges.
Please consider making a gift today to support parents through the many transitions ahead. Your donation to Families First will help bring parents together to strengthen their parenting knowledge, skills, and support systems—for the benefit of their children and communities. Thank you.
Dr. Maureen O’Brien
Families First Director of Curriculum & Training