House Calls Herald September 2020
Resources for Challenging Times
None of this is normal, and you don’t have to pretend it is. Even if you’re a parent. Even if an expert told you it’s important to maintain routines during this time of uncertainty, and another expert told you children need structure, and five of the six parenting Facebook groups you joined in the last two weeks have shared the same vaguely scold-y sample schedule with age-appropriate chores and reasonable screen time limits. If those things work for you and your family, by all means. Do the things that feel true and right for your people right now. You know best.
As schools across the nation close to stop the spread of 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), millions of children are obliged to remain at home. During this time, it is helpful for parents to consider their child’s needs for structure, education, exercise, social contact, appropriate leisure time, and calm, rational explanations about the situation, says Richard Gallagher, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone. Dr. Gallagher, along with Helen L. Egger, MD, the Arnold Simon Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, chair of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and director of NYU Langone’s Child Study Center, offers suggestions for parents to help make the most of their child’s time off from school, while keeping in mind child development and children’s reactions to stressful and changing situations.
Black parents teach their children what awaits them outside the safety of their homes. White parents who have transracially adopted Black children must do the same.Transracially adopted Black children are likely to experience far more dramatic transitions because they have lived under the cover of whiteness. Thankfully, more and more white adoptive parents are taking an active interest in what it means to be Black in America, with attention to how this shapes one’s relationship with law enforcement. Because of this awareness and concerted effort to prepare their adopted Black children, I am frequently asked when and how should white adoptive parents have “The Talk.”
As protests continue nationwide over the death of George Floyd, many Black parents worry about the safety of their own children. CNN spoke to parents in Ohio and Pennsylvania about the conversations they are having with their sons and daughters about systemic racism in the United States
In this emotional equivalent to an ultramarathon, it’s key to have some stress-reducing strategies available that work quickly and efficiently to help you hit the reset button. Here’s why: Struggling with chronic worry gets in the way of effectively managing your emotions. Unfortunately, many people who experience distress try to escape their unpleasant emotions by distracting themselves in ways that ultimately backfire.
So rather than dealing with anxiety and uncertainty by getting lost worrying, then chasing short-term fixes with longer-term consequences, like procrastinating, using food or marijuana to cope or relying on benzodiazepines — the anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax — it’s helpful to experiment with quick strategies that will empower you. These strategies are not necessarily a cure, but can help lower the intensity of overwhelming emotions, allowing you to recalibrate to better deal with challenges you face.
There is a Chinese proverb that states that the beginning of wisdom is to call something by its proper name. The term ”adoption” does not do this but rather disguises a series of complex, developmental traumas that begin with relinquishment and continues on, sometimes through challenging episodes of care, to the adaptions necessary to attach to the adoptive family. The legacy of this trauma for the relinquished child is a conflict between wanting to connect and fearing connection. This is often experienced as a hyper-vigilance that has an enormous impact on relationships and functioning which can disrupt the ability to be present, with feelings that one is both “too much” and “not enough”.