Renown Author, Educator Speaking To Twin Cities Parents Next Week

The last 13 months has been something that no one could have imagined. But for parents — particularly ones with younger children — things have been that much harder. Particularly when it comes to trying to find even the most basic routine for day-to-day activities.

“For many of families, it’s become so unpredictable and chaotic,” said Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. “Meal and sleep times are disrupted; stress levels just go up. Now there’s just no predictability to our day.”

Kurcinka, an internationally recognized parent educator and best-selling author of Raising Your Spirited Child, is giving a workshop, “Supporting Our Children Through The Pandemic,” from 7:30-8:30 p.m., April 26, to help parents find ways to support young children in improving behavior and sleep and to reduce stress for young children and the adults who care for them. The event is sponsored by Beth El Synagogue’s Aleph Preschool, Adath Jeshurun’s Gan Shelanu Preschool, the Early Childhood Centers of both Minnesota JCCs, Temple Israel’s ECC, Talmud Torah St. Paul/The Newman School, Minnesota Mammalehs, and the Minneapolis Jewish Federation. Temple Israel’s Rabbi Jason Klein will moderate the discussion.

Thanks to a Federation grant, Kurcinka has done two presentations for the teachers of preschools; April 12 was for infant and toddler educators, April 19 for preschool and pre-k teachers.

Registration for the event is free. Kurcinka will do a half-hour presentation, followed by a half-hour question-and-answer session. The questions, which the sponsors have been soliciting from the constituencies, will help form the presentation.

“I don’t have a standard workshop,” Kurcinka said. “I create; I’m a teacher.”

As someone who has worked with parents and children for decades, Kurcinka said that this year she has never seen parents as stressed as they currently are.

“Children synchronize to stress levels of adults around them, so as we support children, what do you need for yourself?” Kurcinka said. “Where would you like help and what are you struggling with as you support your children? Parents need to take care of themselves, and self-care for adults is critical in supporting children through the pandemic.”