Building and Nurturing Your Children During the Coronavirus Outbreak | Avrumi Marmorstein, LCSW

Many parents may be looking at this time as being very challenging. However, we can try to make the best of it and grow as parents as we bond with and nurture our children.

Here are some strategies and ideas to help you remain empowered and in control as you deal with the daily grind.

  1. Kids Need Structure. Making a loose schedule may reduce the anxiety of not knowing how each day will be filled. Make a chart or checklist for your child to check off when s/he has accomplished specific tasks such as Davening, learning, clean up, etc. Sit down with your child and create a list of games and/or projects that can be used.

  1. Clear Boundaries. Making a checklist will also show your children what you expect them to do over the course of each day. Be clear about any rules or expectations regarding socializing with friends as these may be different than usual due to the current circumstances. Also let your children know clearly if you are unavailable due to work/household chores, etc. If possible, it may be helpful to let them know when you will be available again, i.e. “I need to clean the kitchen but then I can read you a book.”

  1. Open Communication. When speaking about the virus or its ramifications use clear, positive and age-appropriate information. Sometimes too much information can be scary. Be sure to encourage any questions as they arise.

  1. Special Time. Use this opportunity to build familial relationships. Nurture your child/children by spending quality time with them. It’s not about the quantity but rather about the quality. Focus exclusively on your children, even for a short time. Keep distractions to a minimum. Going to the grocery or filling up on gas can be a great way to give a child individual time.

Remember: small gestures can make a huge impact.

  1. Self-care for Parents. Take time for yourself when you can. Go out alone or with your spouse for a walk or to the grocery. Play a board game when the kids go to sleep. A short break can be very rejuvenating.

The following list contains suggestions for building and nurturing your children:

  • Doing arts and crafts together

  • Play games together

  • Use terms of endearment when speaking to your children

  • Write notes to each child with cute or thoughtful messages

  • Use physical touch to show affection

  • Be curious. Go into their world and really hear what they are thinking and feeling.

  • Offer drinks and/or snacks

  • Make eye contact

  • Bake and cook with them

  • Give a genuine compliment

  • Praise them in front of another adult
  • Ask their opinion/advice
  • Be silly with them
  • Have them show/teach you how to do something


Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments, or concerns.

Rabbi Avrumi Marmorstein LCSW · (917)685-0914

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