Libraries host 'Parenting During The Pandemic' virtual program
It can be difficult for parents to navigate work, childcare and distance learning during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Cedar Mill and Bethany community libraries are trying to make it a little bit easier.
On Thursday, Dec. 10, the libraries will hold a Zoom session titled "Parenting During The Pandemic." Positive discipline educator Megan Barella will teach how to make life easier and more enjoyable for parents during the pandemic.
In an announcement, the libraries said parents will learn how to let go of parenting guilt while feeling confident that their children will thrive despite the current events.
"We can't do it all as parents," said Barella. "With school and work from home, we have to keep in mind no one is giving us an extra salary to homeschool our children. We didn't grow an extra hand. We haven't cloned ourselves."
People can bring questions and share real-life challenges with a virtual parenting community for support.
Barella hopes participants will find reasonable and realistic expectations for themselves as parents during this time.
"We're going to contextualize this time that we are in parenting, focus on setting reasonable and realistic expectations, and focus on connection and positive relationships for our families," she said. "I'll be providing specific tools to do that."
As a positive discipline educator, Barella explained that she helps parents steer away from a reward style of parenting to a more positive approach that could yield better results.
"There's nothing wrong with using a reward or a consequence here and there," she added. "What I invite parents to look at is, how does it feel when you're using that behavior tool? Do you feel like a good parent within? Does it feel positive to use the tool? (If so), continue using it."
The Cedar Mill and Bethany libraries usually offer a parent information series every year that includes five to seven programs on topics such as parenting an anxious child or raising children in a dual-language household.
"It occurred to us that a lot of people are struggling right now," said Jenny Fleenor, who is a youth services librarian at the Cedar Mill and Bethany libraries. "They're working from home, or maybe they're not working at all. They're trying to help their kids with schoolwork. We just had a contentious election and worries about the pandemic."
Fleenor expects to have around 25 people attend the session.
The session is also geared for parents of children 18 months to 12 years old.
"So many people are home right now with mixed-age kids," said Fleenor. "They're got a toddler, a preschooler and a third-grader."
For those who might scared or intimidated to attend the session, Fleenor hopes parents know that it is a safe and learning environment for everyone.
"Look at all the things going on in the world right now. I mean, there's no way that everyone's got it all together," she said. "Everything is changing every day in the political world, (and) everything is changing so fast that I don't know — show me a person who has it all together."
"Parenting During The Pandemic" is set from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, via Zoom.
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