Parenting is a Learning Journey – Distance Learning – Week 9

Dear Parents,

This week UNICEF Vietnam shared with the community a webpage that provides parents with some timely tips and reminders. We thought it would be a good moment to share their resource. Here is the link:

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has upended family life around the world. School closures, working remote, physical distancing — it’s a lot to navigate for anyone, but especially for parents.” (from UNICEF) 

In the spirit that as parents we can all continue leaning, here are the strongest connections that we made. What was yours?

Dylan: “Make a schedule for you and your children that has time for structured activities as well as free time. This can help children feel more secure and better behaved.”

Comment: After our recent holiday I wasn’t sure how I was going to ‘dig any deeper’ and come back to guide the distance learning for my two children as well as continue to work full time. I decided to reinvest in structure and routine and this week has been our best week at home yet. With my two children we start the day like a school day – the girls get dressed and ready for their day – before their first Zoom call. After the call we create a schedule of all the work that they need to do (in two attractive colors, of course!) and we add little boxes for each item that they have learned to enjoy checking off. Part of the routine is that we put a limit on the time that we spend on our daily learning: all work must be done by 12 noon and then the children make themselves lunch.

Kris: “Take a pause. Feel like screaming? Give yourself a 10-second pause. Breathe in and out slowly five times. Then try to respond in a calmer way. Millions of parents say this helps – a lot!”

Comment: With so much ‘together’ time and the responsibilities mounting I can feel my voice reaching a volume that is highly undesirable by all. As a counsellor I teach students about stopping, breathing and thinking before they act. Now it’s time to hone that practice myself. When I felt myself about to yell the other day I stopped and counted to 10 and took a deep breath. It worked and I was able to get back to the task at hand in a much calmer state.

We also humbly direct you to our Week 4 letter about the importance of routines. This letter includes information, links and some self-assessment about how some basic parenting routines may set us all up for success. How have bedtimes, morning routines and your child’s levels of independence and responsibility changed during this time?

As always we are here to support.

Warmest regards, 

The UNIS ES Counselling Team

Kris Bezzerides (Discovery – Grade 2,

Dylan Meikle (Grades 3-5, 

Reaching Out to Strengthen Ourselves: Outstanding Resources – Distance Learning Week 7

Dear Parents,

The last few weeks have brought rapid change and a heightened sense of worry as additional places in the world have become more directly impacted by Covid-19.

Any yet, here in Hanoi we find ourselves in week #7 of our campus closure. The experience of seeing other places in the world become ‘hotspots’, and our loved and dear ones become vulnerable, has not been pleasant. In the international educational and counselling sectors, there has been an explosion in articles and online resources. You may have noticed that your Facebook feed (or similar) looks very different than it did five weeks ago.

The following resources are not just interesting and topical, but are also reputable resources worth saving for parenting questions and wonderings that go beyond our current world crisis. We recommend bookmarking these sites, or joining their mailing lists.

The Child Mind Institute: Supporting Families During COVID-19 

Recommended by Dylan Meikle, upper elementary counsellor

“The Child Mind Institute is an independent, national nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. Our teams work every day to deliver the highest standards of care, advance the science of the developing brain and empower parents, professionals and policymakers to support children when and where they need it most.” READ MORE

When That Which Isolates Us, Unites Us – Connection in the Time of Corona via Hey Sigmund

Recommended by Lee Cassidy, UNIS Educational psychologist

“This website contains the latest research and news in psychology. It attempts to bring psychology into the mainstream, unfolding the brilliance that happens within the scientific realm. We will explain what it all means and why it matters.” READ MORE

Supporting Students, Families, and You During COVID-19 via Second Step

Recommended by Kris bezzerides, lower elementary counsellor

“We know this is a stressful time for students, families, and educators. Concerns about the spread of COVID-19 are growing. Here, we’ve compiled a list of resources you can use to help young people learn the social-emotional skills they need to get through these challenging events.” READ MORE

Greater Good’s Guide to Well-Being During Coronavirus

Recommended by Kris bezzerides, lower elementary counsellor

A great one stop shop for everything related to the science of happiness. Podcasts for parenting, resources for mindfulness and good readings for getting through life’s challenges and coming out a stronger happier person on the other side.

Dylan Meikle and Kris Bezzerides are available for Individual Zoom calls with students and families to help support you as we head into our extended distance learning.

Kris Bezzerides  and  Dylan Meikle