Among all the various stresses of quarantine life, full-time childcare being added to parents’ daily life has been a substantial burden. The limitations on travel, lack of access to schools, daycares, and amenities have all taken their toll on normal family routines—not to mention the distraction for many who parenting and working from home at the same time. However, as with many aspects of “normal” life, now might be a great time to take a closer look at our old habits and make some positive changes.
Dr. Shimi Kang, bestselling author and award-winning child psychiatrist, recently spoke with CBC News on the topic of the benefits of using this moment to approach parenting with less structure, especially as we move into the summer months. She highlighted what she called an “epidemic of childhood stress” before COVID-19 hit, due to many children piling on homework, extra-curriculars, lessons, and the like.
So now, with more downtime and less traditional demands on their time, Dr. Kang says it is a great time for parents to let kids spend their time more freely and push them to explore the “innate activities” that are natural for young people. Dr. Kang highlighted how this is not only healthy but also helps children to flex their creative and problem-solving muscles:
“Getting kids to be free to not have instruction, to try first before you tell them how to do something, to give them hints and not a solution, to encourage play and learning through trial and error. These are the essential activities of parenting that we’ve forgotten over the years.”
An award-winning medical doctor, researcher, and expert on the neuroscience of innovation, leadership, and motivation, Dr. Shimi Kang provides science-based solutions for health, happiness, and achievement in the workplace, classroom, and at home. With 20 years of clinical experience and extensive research in the science that lies behind optimizing human intelligence, Dr. Kang provides practical tools to cultivate the key 21st century skills of resilience, connection, creativity, and more.