By: PAWC Staff
The coronavirus pandemic has thoroughly changed the time spent with our families. With parents and children working and learning from home, many of us are getting more family time than we ever expected. Furthermore, the coronavirus threatening public health as well as the current conditions breeding economic and political uncertainty are significant stressors on parents and children alike. Learning how to live in close quarters and parent effectively while coping with these stressors is no easy task.
An increase in pandemic related stressors is likely to take a toll on parenting as well as parent child relationships. Moreover, new research suggests that covid-19 related stress can lead to harsher parenting (Chung et al., 2020). Ultimately, a strain on parent-child relationships and a decrease in supportive parenting styles can have negative psychological impacts on children.
Luckily, researchers have identified a quality common among families that are successfully managing parenting in a pandemic (Daks et al., 2020). This quality is known as psychological flexibility. Essentially, psychological flexibility is the ability to act and react in accordance with one's values, rather than acting on impulses or emotions. Additionally, psychological flexibility leads to a greater ability to adapt to dynamic or stressful situations. In terms of parenting, this means taking a mindful moment before reacting to your child, practicing compassion and empathy, and letting go of stress and negative emotions.
By improving psychological flexibility, you can improve parent-child relationships as well as general family wellbeing and will be better equipped to manage the stressors brought on by the pandemic.
To read more about parenting in a pandemic and psychological flexibility, check out this article form psychology today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/get-out-your-mind/202011/why-some-parents-deal-better-corona
Chung, G., Lanier, P., & Wong, P. Y. J. (2020). Mediating Effects of Parental Stress on Harsh Parenting and Parent-Child Relationship during Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic in Singapore. Journal of Family Violence. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-020-00200-1
Daks, J. S., Peltz, J. S., & Rogge, R. D. (2020). Psychological flexibility and inflexibility as sources of resiliency and risk during a pandemic: Modeling the cascade of COVID-19 stress on family systems with a contextual behavioral science lens. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 18, 16-27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcbs.2020.08.003
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