Many of you likely have children in addition to working in a child care program. Even if you are not a parent, take some time this month the reconsider your relationship with the families enrolled in your program. Identify the stress you are feeling. Identify the causes of stress for you or within your community. Recognize that if these factors are stressful to you, they are probably stressful for others, as well. Everyone is doing the best they can with the tools they have to manage stress. Taking time to empathize with families and identify shared struggle can help you open up to the possibility of working with families in new ways.

Consider sharing stress reduction strategies with families in your newsletters, daily reports, text messages, or on social media. Some people do not have the time to research effective ways to reduce family stress at home. Your efforts could make a big difference for parents and children.

Share the self-calming strategies you are practicing with the children. Offer a video demonstration of the practices in action for parents to watch.  Identify keywords and phrases that you use in the classroom to help children tune into their bodies and initiate self-calming tools.  Doing so not only introduces new skills to families, but it also creates consistency for the children.

Limit demands as much as possible. 2020 has been demanding, the holidays in a “normal” year are demanding. Interactions with your program don’t have to add extra demands to families. For example, it is common for family/teacher conferences to be held in January, but can they wait a few weeks until things calm down for families? Most interactions with families are limited now anyway due to COVID restrictions. Communication is so important, but maybe this year, we can structure things a little differently. Gather with your team and brainstorm out-of-the-box ways to share interact with families that don’t add more stress to their lives.

For the main article Stress Reduction in the New Year, CLICK HERE

For the article Self-Care in the New Year, CLICK HERE

For the article Supporting Children during the New Year, CLICK HERE

For the article Committing to Positivity with Your Team, CLICK HERE