Resilience Is Connection: Strong Relationships Create Strong Kids

Resilience is the ability to overcome serious stress or difficulty, and bounce back stronger than ever. In this series, Connecticut Children’s pediatric experts share keys to resilience, and tips to help your child be resilient during the coronavirus pandemic.

Research consistently shows that even in stressful times, the kids who do well are the ones who have strong, stable, supportive adult relationships. This means that everyone from grandparents to coaches have an important role to play in your child’s resilience.

How can you keep these supportive relationships strong during social distancing?

Developmental pediatrician Robert D. Keder, MD, returns to the blog with advice.

Use technology for meaningful connection.

For all the challenges of this pandemic, we’re lucky it happened now and not 10 or 20 years ago. In 2020, we have really amazing technology that lets us stay connected virtually. This means that we are keeping physical social distancing but not emotionally isolating ourselves from one another.

Use technology to deepen your child’s connection to important adults in their life. Your child might not be able to visit their grandparents right now, but thanks to video chats, they can still connect face-to-face. (And if video chat isn’t an option, there’s always phone, text, email and good old-fashioned letters.)

Schedule quality time.

Set a standing date for quality time. Whether that’s weekly, daily or something else, it’ll give everyone something to look forward to, and add some structure to your child’s routine. For inspiration, check out these 40 ideas for new family traditions.

Get creative with video chat activities.

With some adjustments, most offline activities can be done via video chat. There are lots of great platforms: Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts and WhatsApp are a few examples.

  • Virtual lunch or dinner
  • Reading books together (Tip: Having your child read aloud is a great way to build reading skills, and to let them step up to a helping role)
  • Board games (Tip: As long as you have two sets, you can play many board games virtually! Some favorites include Guess Who?, Sorry and Pictionary)
  • Movie night (Netflix offers a new feature for online viewing parties)
  • Show and tell
  • Story time (Start with a person, thing, or place as your prompt, and trade off after each sentence)
  • Singing songs
  • Sharing photos
  • Recreating photos (For a fun educational project, see articles of people recreating famous paintings using objects found at home)
  • Creating your own live TV show/putting on a play
  • Sharing songs and videos on YouTube
  • Knock-knock jokes
  • Dance party
  • Charades
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Drawing together (Pick a topic like dinosaurs or flowers)
  • Marshmallow-and-toothpick building challenges
  • DIY crafts
  • Play-doh
  • Legos or other building toys
  • Making home movies
  • Talking about family history
  • Trading recipes

> Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health is committed to building resilience in children and families so they can be better positioned to thrive in challenging times. Learn more about our community-oriented work.

The best way to help kids be resilient is to be there for them.

The bottom line is this: Kids need adults who care about them, and who show up for them. “Showing up” may look a little different during this pandemic, but it’s more valuable than ever. It’s something your child can count on, even in these really weird and uncertain times.

Read the next article in the series>>

Check out all of our coronavirus resources for families >>

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