Dannie De Novo is taking a simple approach to parenting during a pandemic.
“I think it’s good just to remain flexible and to be honest with your children. I tell my daughter I’ve never been through anything like this either, and I’m just learning as we go.”
The best-selling author and podcast host also came up with an acronym for any parent to follow: TEACH.
“T is for thinking critically, and that means connecting old information with new ideas coming in and sort of matching them up and seeing how they relate to one another, and this fosters creativity and innovation and that’s what helps kids solve problems.”
“E is for experience, and I think we all know that we learn by experiencing things, but are you experiencing consciously and is your child experiencing consciously, so I like to ask my daughter questions while she’s going through something to see if she’s paying attention. You know what are you seeing what are you hearing and then at the end, ask her about those experiences again What did you learn from all of this?”
According to De Novo, how parents react to pandemic-related challenges directly affects children.
“A is for attitude and that is how you decide to look at yourself in your life, and for kids this translates into their level of self confidence and also their ability to learn, and my book ‘Get in a Good Mood and Stay There’ is about shifting your attitude because as a parent if you don’t have a good attitude, you’re not going to find that your child has a good attitude either.”
“C is for coping skills, and this is just about resilience and allowing our children to fail, and then being there as support when they get up and try again so as a parent, it’s really important for your child to see you trying new things, failing at them and then trying again.”
Finally, De Novo is a believer in bravery in this uncertain world.
“H is for heart, because it takes a lot of courage to get back up again. It takes a lot of courage to shift your attitude, and it takes a lot of courage to think for yourself and to have a voice.”
Find the approach that works for you, but the simple way is often the most effective.
“So be open and honest and make sure that you have a good dialogue with your child, allow them to ask questions. And if you don’t know the answer, just tell them, I don’t know, we’ll find out together.”