Scaffolding parenting includes three pillars: support, structure, and encouragement. In scaffold parenting lies the metaphor that the child is a “building,” and the parents are the scaffold around it. Your support, structure, and encouragement guide the child as they rise and grow.
The scaffolding parenting strategy provides a framework of safety for which kids to grow and thrive. And while we cannot shield children from the trials of life, our “scaffolds” arm them with loving protection and resilience when challenges arise.
Reengaging with peers and society, in general, is causing a great deal of excitement and anxiety for children and adults alike. Having experienced a prolonged period of anxiety and isolation, many families are burned out; ready for life to go back to “normal” but uncertain what that will look like. The challenge for parents is to trust the framework they’ve built around their children and begin again to let go.
“The coronavirus vaccine hopes to “normalize” life for young people and bring them back to school, activities, and friends. But we can’t underestimate how destabilizing reentry will be.” Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz
The coming months will be a time of trial and error for the country, for each family, and each child. There are no absolutes and no right or wrongs. Reentry into life as vaccinations continue is an individual experience. There will be bumps and bruises – mistakes made along the way. In that way, post-pandemic life doesn’t differ from the lives we once knew.
What is different is the emotional toll, and collective anxiety children have experienced due to the disrupted learning and social isolation caused by COVID-19. To scaffold an anxious child, What is scaffold parenting? It could be the key to help kids adjust to post-pandemic life, promotes the following:
- Support children with empathy, validation, and intervention.
- Structure routines and schedules to give a child a sense of security.
- Most importantly, encourage kids to get back into the social fray via exposure to human interaction.
Pediatric therapy programs at AZ+A help children strengthen social skills, manage anxiety, big feelings, and emotional regulation. Through individual sessions, group therapy, pods, or small groups, the occupational therapists at AZ+A help children and families discover strengths, resiliency, and coping skills to make returning to “normal” less daunting and even a bit of fun!