BOOK REVIEW: Tips for Parents on Surviving the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Dennis Galolo
As any parent will tell you, raising children is a challenge of epic proportions. The global pandemic made the task all the more difficult as parents struggled with exponential increases in stress, frustration and worry.
During the past 12 months, entire families were stuck at home 24/7, with parents and children struggling to coexist in the topsy-turvy world of COVID-19, much like the blockbuster movie “Jurassic Park” where humans and dinosaurs, separated by millions of years of evolution, were suddenly thrust together into the mix. On the big screen, it was a bloodbath but in real life, the pandemic led to crippling financial loss and intense psychological and emotional strain.
And for millions of families, a “new normal” arose that involved distance learning, working remotely, mask and social distancing mandates and other massive changes to daily life. Those who adapted quicker generally fared better than others who weren’t as adept.
In her new book “One Hundred Parenting Tips Inspired by the Pandemic,” Filipino-American author, parenting coach and private tutor Karen K.C. Gibson offers parents practical advice for surviving the turbulent world foisted on us by COVID-19.
Gibson is a former special education teacher who founded Brain Builders, a private tutoring business, in 1999. As a neuro-linguistic practitioner, she helps her clients understand how the mind’s language creates patterns that can be rewired to get rid of negative behavior. Gibson believes that children who are taught to be self-confident, loved unconditionally and guided on their journey will grow into healthier and happier adults.
Last March 2020, Gibson launched virtual tutoring sessions and began posting daily videos with parenting tips on her Facebook page and YouTube channel “Letting Go With Aloha.” She also interviewed numerous parents who were struggling with significant stress, sleepless nights, and frustrating arguments with their children, as well as grandparents and medical professionals to get their viewpoints.
Gibson’s new book is a compilation parenting tips from her online videos during a 100-day stretch beginning in July 2020. A good number of them are timeless, practical and applicable in virtually any situation, including the following:
- Parenting Tip 15 … Teach Them Public Speaking Skills – Gibson writes“Children gain confidence when they practice speaking in public. Give your child opportunities to practice speaking with their doctors, to waiters taking their orders, and chatting with family or friends. Encourage confidence, praise them for their efforts without criticism, and make time to record them so they can see what they sound like and look like when they’re speaking.”
- Parenting Tip 46 … Teach Your Kids Not to Worry – “Children can benefit from relying on faith and releasing worry. If worrying becomes a lifelong habit, something as small as a nagging concern in the back of your mind can affect your heart. When kids see their parents worrying, they learn that worrying is a part of life.”
- Parenting Tip 52 … Avoid Yelling at Your Kids –“Yelling, criticizing and lecturing damage a child’s self-esteem. Yelling often involves harsh insults that can be qualified as emotional abuse, which is known to have long-term effects, including anxiety, low self-esteem, and increased aggression.”
- Parenting Tip 92 … Use the 90 Second Rule to Handle Anger – “Brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor, the author of ‘My Stroke of Insight,’ described our ability to regulate the 90 second rule: When a person has a reaction to something in their environment, there’s a 90 second chemical process that happens; any remaining emotional response is just the person choosing to stay in that emotional loop. This means you have 90 seconds to decide whether you want to allow your anger to control you. No situation and person can make us feel or do anything. It’s truly up to us whether to carry our anger.”
The book also touches on such topics as limiting screen time, setting boundaries, the power of patience, the importance of apologizing, the joy of volunteering, overcoming hardships, setting goals, accepting uncertainty, and much, much more. If you’re looking for simple yet powerful advice on parenting and raising responsible, resilient and respectful children, then this book is for you.
The book is a quick read at only 113-pages long, but to get the most out of it, parents are encouraged to read one page at a time and take Gibson’s advice to heart by implementing a new tip each day.
“One Hundred Parenting Tips Inspired by the Pandemic” is available for purchase online at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.
Gibson’s paternal grandparents are from the Visayas in the Philippines. Born and raised in Honolulu, Gibson attended Aiea High School. She graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and later received a certificate in special education. She is married and has two daughters. To learn more, go to www.lettinggowithaloha.com.
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