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  • Writer's pictureHaim Omer

My e-book "Parenting during crisis... and afterwards"

A few weeks ago I published a post on the continuity principle as a way of providing parents with a clear sense of direction for coping with the corona-crisis. In the days and weeks after the post was published there were over 30.000 visits to my site. It was clear that the continuity principle was a message that parents felt they very much needed. Some parents reacted by saying: "So we now know what we should do! But we still don't have the influence or authority to do it!" The present e-book is an attempt to answer both questions: What to do and how to doit. And it refers to any crisis, not only that of the present pandemic, but also crises occasioned by accidents, divorce, illness or death in the family, outbreak of a mental disorder, migration, financial plight, etc.

During crises parents are called to re-assume their leadership and authority. Without a clear sense of guidance, the family will flounder, aggravating the consequences of the crisis. Fortunately, crises also give the parents the legitimacy and justification for rebuilding their authority. In effect, crises are good occasions for manifesting increased parental presence and for widening the parents' support network. Presence and support are two central pillars on which the parents can build their positive authority. The third pillar is self-control. Parents who learn to develop presence, self-control and support, will find that they become able to weather the crisis and bring the family to a safe harbour.

I wrote my e-book "Parenting during crisis... and afterwards" to show how this can be done. How parents can build and display an appropriate kind and degree of presence, develop self-control in ways that enable them to cope with their children without lashing back or giving in, and give themselves "broad shoulders", so that they think, speak and act as "WE" (even if they are single parents) instead of "I". In our many studies we have demonstrated that these are learnable skills: parents can clearly develop their presence, self-control and support. And crises may actually help them to do so in highly legitimate ways.

The book is illustrated by examples drawn both from the coronavirus crisis and other stressful family situations. The examples make clear that the skills the parents develop during the crisis can help them also when life goes back to its normal tracks. In this respect, the crisis turns out to be also a valuable opportunity. As a pair of religious parents in my treatment said: "If God had not sent us the coronavirus, we would probably have had to invent it!"

You can order "Parenting during crisis... and afterwards" at:

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