Twin Cities Mom Collective

Preparing to Reconnect with Extended Family

Preparing to Reconnect with Family. Large family gathered around a dinner table.

As parents, we know it takes an entire community of caring adults to help us raise our children up to adulthood. The COVID restrictions placed on us during the pandemic mean that many parents are unable to leverage the broader support of the community of neighbors, friends, family members, teachers, coaches, child care providers, and more.
We know that our relationships with those in our community are enduring and consequential for well-being across one’s lifetime. Our ability to form and maintain meaningful relationships are the foundations for mental health and wellbeing. We are wired for social connection. For many, these last two years have interrupted and changed those connections and we are currently in a moment of resetting and rebuilding. The pandemic forced us to examine what we value and those things we no longer do.
Recently, Breck School hosted best-selling author and psychologist Dr. Michael Thompson to discuss post-pandemic parenting. Dr. Thompson assured parents that children are resilient and they, at all ages, are wired for play and friendship. They’ve missed their friends—we all have. The upcoming holiday season, whether in person or virtually, affords the opportunity to reconnect with extended family.

Here are three things to consider as you plan for the holidays:

  1. Embrace this time to share stories of your family traditions and incorporate new ones you created during the pandemic. The opportunities such as playing board games, puzzles, getting outside, and reading aloud, are a few ways to harness the power of being back together.
  2. Additionally, children have enjoyed more time on devices as caregivers have navigated the balance of working from home while caring for and helping to educate. Children may be out of practice being without their devices and might benefit from the opportunity to help create a schedule for when guests are over.  Children crave predictability, so including them in the planning and scheduling of events for the holidays and being clear about expectations will be important.
  3. For many children, the pandemic interrupted their ability to practice critical social and emotional skills. Wearing masks makes it difficult to read facial cues and children simply need more practice. Be patient and prepare your children for each gathering.
As we enter this season of gathering and reconnecting, remember that support we give our children matters. At Breck, our educational approach is grounded in best practices across education and rooted in Mind, Brain, and Education Science. To learn more about our challenging and innovative academic program and our commitment to serving students and families, visit us online at breckschool.org.

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