The following blog post was written by: Bergen B. Nelson, MD, MS, FAAP Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU Medical Director, Reach Out And Read Virginia.
“When families [go] through stressful times, when they experience a perceived threat of danger, when they are practicing social distancing and must remain in their homes, children still look to their parents and the other adults who care for them to help them feel loved and protected. Continuing to practice and advise this to parents through ROR is one way to help families through this difficult time.” Dr. Perri Klass, Reach Out and Read’s National Medical Director
It is during these times of stress and uncertainty that our children are most in need of feeling safe, loved, and protected.
The daily interactions children have with caring adults help build resilience and security in times of stress.
Important moments together include snuggles on the couch, reading together, hugs, singing and playing together. These times don’t have to be scripted and they don’t have to last a long time. Big or small, these everyday moments have the potential to build resilience in both children and adults, buffer stress and support safe, stable, and nurturing relationships with all caregivers, helping children thrive.
Routines also create consistency and structure and can be very calming during times of stress. The predictability of routines creates normalcy and can help reduce stress. The nurturing experiences children receive from the parent provide extra emotional support, building resilience and strengthening family relationships.
Reading together is an easy way to build a routine and strengthen parent-child bonds that last a lifetime. A book is far more than words and pictures on a page. It’s a catalyst for precious moments spent together.
Building a routine around books and reading together with your child is one of the most important things parents and caregivers can do to support children. Making everyday moments matter together help families thrive through difficult times.
To learn more about Resilience Week VA, visit grscan.com/resilience-week-virginia
Explore and learn about Virginia's Trauma-Informed Community Networks here.