Dr. Damon Korb, clinical director and founder of the Center for Developing Minds, offered advice about parenting during the pandemic at an event hosted by Santa Catalina School's Parents Association on January 21.
Dr. Korb is a behavioral and developmental pediatrician and the author of Raising an Organized Child. His talk, "Finding Certainty Amongst Uncertainty," was designed to help families cope with their children's moods and behaviors during this time.
Because many students are distance learning, Dr. Korb said it's a good opportunity for parents to see how their children learn and how they interact with teachers and classmates. To help parents understand their child's learning style, he defined six types of students: distracted, daydreaming, overly active, disruptive, anxious, and unmotivated. He described each type and offered ways for parents to help their child succeed. For example, for anxious students, he suggested parents try to help them lessen their stress by breaking down tasks, encouraging breaks to pause and reset, and emphasizing completion and effort over grades.
Dr. Korb also addressed concerns of social isolation. Even if children aren't seeing their friends in person, he said, spending time together as a family can go a long way toward helping them feel connected. He suggests coming up with activities to look forward to, such as hikes, game nights, or cooking together.
Many parents are concerned about how much time their children spend in front of screens, but Dr. Korb acknowledged that screen time may be the only way some students are able to connect with their friends, and he suggested parents allow some leniency. There are three types of screen time, he said: educational, intentional, and passive. Passive time is what needs to be managed.
Dr. Korb also emphasized the importance of having consistent rules and routines—when children know what to expect, they feel less stressed. To help parents manage their own stress, he gave them permission to take care of themselves first. Not only does this help parents feel better, it also models healthy behavior for their children.
Thank you to the Parents Association and a generous donor for providing our families with this educational opportunity from a nationally known expert.