Effective parenting is often difficult in the best of times, but now effectively parenting and managing a family are considerably more difficult, and many of us are getting worn out. We never thought that we would be called on to juggle so many balls of serious decision making. I am 85 years of age, and have witnessed years when hard decisions had to be made and we thought we would never get through the damages of the time. I remember World War II well and all that’s touched our lives in many sad ways since. And, I want to tell you, that we the citizens of the US of A are the champions of Bounce Back.
We will make it through this, certainly saddened by the loss of lives and disastrous effects on our way of living. But we have to hold on a bit longer. I see progress. Citizens are seeing proof that the CDC and local protocols work and can decrease COVID-19 cases. There is good cause for hope. Our public schools appear to have decided upon a sensible, safe process of education for our children, teachers and parents, even though difficult informed decisions still have to be made. Risks have to be considered and assessed based on local conditions. If we do the job of prevention even better, we can get back to our new story sooner with full schools, and open workplaces relieving some of the stress and worry in our daily lives.
A New Orleans psychologist told me that after Katrina, many children did not go to school in-person or on-line for over a year, and many more attended mixed facilities neither well organized nor effective. Yet, the majority of those students got through it all with little damage to their academic standing and their social development. They had resilience. They Bounced Back. There is so often a side of tragedy where a sliver of light can shine through. It’s just not easy to find.
Hard times are unfortunately a part of life. Many have them and we most often face them, give them their due, take action and move forward.
While that process is unfolding, however, we are not always the same people we were before. Acceptable behaviors can get lost in the mix of frustration, confusion, anger, anxiety, depression and sadness, and decisions are not always the best for family relationships. We might forget patience, love, understanding, and make quick and poor judgements. Our tempers may pop out, disagreements may increase. Taking time out for planning, meditation, reflection and prayer may get shortened or forgotten…playing havoc with the strained relationships that may already exist with our children, young and older, and yes, partners, too.
There are things parents can do to reduce the effects of stress and to help their family develop resilience, Bounce Back. Resilience actually means to bounce back, and is the ability to recover from or adjust to adversity or change.
Warm and nurturing relationships are the most important factors in developing resilience. When, where and how parents protect their families from environmental stressors is the power that only the parents can provide. The home is our children’s first environment, the most important one for developing resilience. But the parents have to have Bounce Back, too.
Next time, I will offer parents information about building resilience in self and family. We will look at Ten Tips for Bounce Back and more. Situations will have changed by then and we will address them. If you would like to see a preview of Bounce Back Tips you can at www.scpen.net Family Resources tab. Stand strong and
Don’t lose heart.
Jim R. Rogers, M.Ed., CFLE, Parenting and Family Life Educator