Helping Your Family With the Impact of Coronavirus:
Join TulsaKids and OSU-Tulsa for a series of Coronavirus Q&A sessions on Facebook Live
Pictured: Dr. Sarah Johnson
TulsaKids and OSU-Tulsa have partnered to do a series of Coronavirus Q & A sessions on Facebook Live. Last Tues., May 19, was our first session. I talked with Dr. Sarah Johnson, director of OSU-Tulsa’s Al Carlozzi Center for Counseling, about managing stress and relationships through the quarantine and beyond.
Dr. Johnson offered expert advice on everything from dealing with an ex-spouse to partnering with your partner on caring for children who are home from school. You can watch the entire Q & A here.
What I learned from my interview with Dr. Johnson was how important good communication is. I know that my partner is less likely to listen to what I have to say if I express my needs or thoughts in a negative, angry way. Under stress, I might say, “Why do I always have to feed the dogs! Couldn’t you do it just one day?” A better approach might be, “I’m in a huge hurry this morning, and need a little more time. Do you mind helping me by feeding the dogs today?”
And, lack of communication or expecting our partners to read our minds is equally ineffective. Love does not equal mind-reading, so if you expect your partner to know what you need without saying it, you may be waiting a frustratingly long time for things to change.
Using positive and honest communication with our children can also help provide harmony in the home. If children are old enough, a weekly family meeting where everyone is allowed to talk and everyone is respectfully listened to can help the family develop goals, duties and set expectations. Kids and adults can use the time when everyone is calm to air frustrations and problems. Together, the family can find solutions.
Above all, if too much togetherness is creating too much stress for you or a family member, or if verbal or physical abuse occurs, reach out to a professional for help.
The next Facebook Live event will be on Tuesday, May 26 at 10 a.m. I’ll be talking to Tia Claybrook and Chantelle Lott with the OSU Center for Family Resilience. We’ll be discussing ways to talk to kids about the coronavirus.
Whether you have a 2-year-old or a 12-year-old, you will learn ways to address their fears and answer their questions about the coronavirus. How do you talk to kids without making them feel your stress? Will children have long-term negative effects from being separated from friends or beloved relatives? What can families do to pull together and make this time a more positive than negative experience?
There are so many questions as this pandemic continues – and will continue for months to come. Join us for the next three Tuesdays at 10 a.m. to learn more about how you can help yourself and your family through the uncertainty of coronavirus. You will be able to ask questions through a live chat during the interviews.