As a parent, you probably feel overwhelmed, worried, anxious, and beyond exhausted right now. Totally maxed out, maybe you’re thinking this is the worst time to be a parent: work demands on top of distance learning, plus the erratic emotions of your kids and the ever-growing pit in your stomach that you’re just not doing this right.
It’s a lot. And you are not alone.
Here’s the good news: It is possible for you and your family to feel calm, connected, and confident — no matter the circumstances. Dr. Rebecca Branstetter to the rescue!
Dr. Rebecca Branstetter is dedicated to giving parents simple, proven strategies they can use to help their family navigate challenging circumstances. In particular, this course offers you a toolbox of techniques to manage stress – your own and your children’s – so you can focus on what’s really important: connecting as a family.
5 daily videos totaling over 2 hours of one-on-one support from an experienced school psychologist and positive parenting author
6 bonus video on tactical solutions for distance learning you can implement right now
Mobile app access, including offline viewing, easy listening on-the-go, and screencasting to TVs
Full access to Parenting in a Pandemic along with 60+ courses on health, personal growth, and social impact
600+ daily practices including yoga, meditation, goal-setting, activism, and much more
Invites to all our live video calls with Commune teachers, including the Q&A with Dr. Rebecca.
New courses added every month!
Parenting in a Pandemic with Dr. Rebecca Branstetter will also give you confidence that you're doing it right, even when everything else seems to be going wrong.
Rebecca Branstetter, Ph.D., is a school psychologist, speaker, and author on a mission to help children be the best they can be in school and in life by supporting educators and families with the skills they need to communicate, connect, and cope. She is also the co-creator of the “Make It Stick Parenting” course, which provides parents with tools to build their child’s social-emotional learning, and the founder of The Thriving School Psychologist Collective, an online community dedicated to improving mental health and learning supports in public schools.
In this pandemic, many parents find themselves struggling between home and work obligations.
You might have kids crawling all over you during Zoom.
You may have kids struggling with their work and you don't remember how to do seventh-grade math.
You might feel like you're not doing everything well.
Today, you'll learn solutions to this work, life, and parenting balancing problem many of us are experiencing during this pandemic. You're never going to be perfectly in balance, particularly during this time. But you’ll learn how to be aligned with your goals, values, and intentions.
When our children are stressed, when they're experiencing big feelings and they don't know how to cope with or communicate them, they express themselves through their behavior.
You might see them act out. You might see them withdraw. You might see them yell. You might see them pout.
Today, we shift our thinking. We view these behaviors not as a problem but as communication. Your child’s behavior is actually communication. They're communicating to you that they are stressed. When we tune into their behavior with this in mind, our perspective changes and we learn to lean in with empathy.
Being a parent is difficult in the best of circumstances, but now we’re challenged with knowing how to raise kids, work, take care of the home and everything else … through a pandemic! And that’s not something we’ve ever done before, so it’s time to give yourself some grace, OK?
It's important that we as parents know how to deal with stress, which is the focus of today's lesson. When you manage your own stress, you're better able to connect with your children in these challenging moments, and you can co-regulate with them so they feel calm and safe too.
There is a lot of judgment, especially around parenting. There's judgment from your family, friends, the media, and even parenting books.
Context matters and you're going to hear all kinds of parenting judgment, but remind yourself that there is no one right way to parent your child. It's a dynamic process. What works today might not work tomorrow. It boils down to being thoughtful about why you made a decision and being compassionate with yourself. If it ends up being the wrong decision, know that you are not psychic. You made the best decision you could at the time with the information you had.
Today’s lesson is all about getting curious about the context for why we make certain parenting decisions and better understanding where our judgements may be coming from so we can release them.
Think about your child as a flower. When a child is not flourishing, when they're not growing in the way you feel they should, we often try to change the seed. However, our energy would be better spent thinking about how we can change the environment that our children are in. What can we do to make sure the environment is conducive for all children to grow?
We're not trying to change the seed; rather, we change the environment to provide an opportunity for our children to flourish, no matter who they are.
Attention Seeking is Connection Seeking
In today’s bonus lesson, you’ll learn to reframe attention-seeking as connection-seeking. When you do this, it changes how you respond and how you show up for your child.
Breathing Through the Challenge
Breathing is one of the most powerful things you can do as a parent when you're experiencing a challenge with your child. When you focus on your breath in times of challenge, you respond to stressful situations from a place of calm.
Co-Regulation: Validating Feelings
Today, you learn how to bring calm to a situation through co-regulation. You'll learn why this technique is both validating and leans in with empathy, as well as how it can be used to discover the underlying reason your child is frustrated, angry, or upset in the first place.
Delegate and Pre-Plan
Many parents are trying to work from home and also do distance learning or help their children with their schoolwork. There are a lot of challenges in that. When you think ahead, you can pre-plan and equip your child with an alternative behavior to interrupting you.
Expectations: Relaxing Your Standards
If you're a working parent, doing your job, being your child's teacher, and being a parent are three different jobs you can't do all at once or fully. Today, you'll learn how to relax your standards to a level appropriate for a global pandemic.
Future Sketch: Proactive Problem-Solving
What does distance learning look like for your child? In today’s lesson, you’ll visualize what the future looks like, and give your child a mental image of what is on deck for them. This technique can be applied to everything from distance learning to a morning routine.
"I want to give other parents out there who are feeling stressed the skills to cope. Because while stress is inevitable, we can model for our kids how to handle big emotions and anxiety. And that’s why this course is so important; it teaches parents how to give their children skills for life that empower them to proactively address their own stress. That’s the real opportunity here in this current crisis."
Spending time worrying or wishing things were different is an exercise in frustration. Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do, but it rarely gets you anywhere.
What you need are proactive, effective parenting solutions. This course will give you that — and, finally, some peace of mind.