NDSU Extension Develops Resources for Parenting in a Pandemic

Parents are juggling a lot now as they navigate the competing demands of work, parenting and schooling during COVID-19. While each family faces a unique set of challenges, all parents need additional support as they work to stay connected to their kids and navigate the unique stressors of this moment. 

That context led North Dakota State University Extension to develop multiple resources to help families cope with the stress of these unprecedented times. The resources are designed to help strengthen family connections and explore practical stress recovery and resilience strategies for kids and adults alike.  

“When parents and other adults don’t have ready and satisfying answers for children and youth, the lack of information can create uncertainty, fear and insecurity in children,” says Sean Brotherson, NDSU Extension family science specialist. “Pandemics can be similar to other disasters or traumatic events in their effects on children. Such disasters tend to be events that are quite sudden, very disruptive, lasting in their effects and public in their impact.” 

Children look to parents or other adults for insight into how to respond to difficult circumstances or events. Staying calm and setting a supportive example for children is important. 

“The resources we developed offer practical things for adults to both say and do with children of all ages to help them feel less stressed,” says Brotherson.  

Extension resources with tips for recognizing and dealing with stress include multiple publications and local Extension workshops. 

An upcoming statewide webinar series, Parenting in a Pandemic, will offer four separate sessions on how parents and children can stay productive despite changing routines, how to navigate screen time with children, how to negotiate conflict and boundaries, and how to support and connect with teens.  




Source: Sean Brotherson, 701-231-6143, sean.brotherson@ndsu.edu

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