Share the gift of love, hope and appreciation this Valentine’s Day!
Parents and families worldwide have faced insurmountable challenges during the pandemic. The threat of being exposed to the virus or, even worse, the fear of their children contracting COVID-19 has been emotionally exhausting. While ensuring the safety and well-being of themselves and their children has been the number one priority, balancing the responsibilities of parenting with daily life has become overwhelming. Families with children too young to get vaccinated or who have immunocompromised systems, disabilities, or other special needs have been living with constant fear and forced to make difficult decisions.
Many families have struggled with stress and anxiety, from juggling remote or in-person work responsibilities with child care to school closures and reopenings, learning loss, intensified workloads, unemployment, homelessness, financial obligations, information overload, civil unrest, and social isolation.
Some families also had to balance work, life, and caring for their children while coping with the grief associated with losing loved ones. There is no doubt that this pandemic has been long and hard for many families, often leaving no time or space to practice self-care.
Remember: taking care of yourself is vitally important in caring for others, especially when it comes to children.
- Read first-hand accounts from a diverse group of U.S. families about how their lives have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Learn more about Coronavirus Parenting: Managing Anger and Frustration.
- Learn more about Parenting and Self-Care during COVID.
- Get tips on how to Support Kids During COVID.
Family well-being is critical to children’s success. When we actively ENGAGE with each other and families, we all benefit.
The Maryland Family Engagement Toolkit (Goals)
Family Engagement Toolkit Goal 1: Maryland’s vision for family engagement is a two-generation strategy that focuses on creating opportunities for and addressing the needs of students and their families. Family Engagement initiatives should promote family well-being. To effectively partner and build relationships with families, we must be aware of and validate their concerns, priorities, and resources.
Supporting Parents and Families (Strategies)
Parents and families need your support now more than ever. Use MFE’s Virtual Valentine’s Day Photo and Message to email or print a special message of inspiration to families. Add an individual or class photo of the children to offer a little hope that this too shall pass.
- MFE’s Virtual Valentine’s Day Gift with Message (for Teachers and Providers)
Family Engagement Resources and Activities (Best Practices)
Visit the MFE Family Engagement Collection or Family Activity Collection for more helpful resources and activities to engage families. Also, take a moment to review the Maryland Family Engagement Early Childhood Framework and Toolkit for best practices and strategies to support families.
Below are just a few examples of the resources available to download and share:
- My Ultimate Coping Playlist (for Parents and Educators)
- Family Literacy Bags for Educators
- The ABCs of Family Engagement
- Family Partnership Agreement
- The Family Partnership Goal-Setting Agreement with Families
- The Educator’s and Family’s Guide to Mental Health and Self-Care
- Supporting Authentic Family Engagement
- Guide to Inspiring Partnerships Between Home and Schools
- Guide to Developing Relationships with Families