With little time to deliberate in the current pandemic, it was upon reading the article by Maggie (Good enough parenting during COVID-19) that led to a deepened reflection of the current and long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on my role as a parent and as an Early Years Lecturer. The return to traditional activities in the home with our children and families, has for some enhanced the attachments we have. I have considered my own daughter’s attachment-based representation at this time and compared it to Trevarthen, (2005). I am offering a positive and supportive role where possible to my daughter with play being an essential part of our positive interaction. We rely heavily on technology currently for learning and communication, and at a time where the growth of technology is rapid and we consider the child as a digital native, this has had its merits and strains. The value and need for play based learning with my own daughter to manage her wellbeing and promote her learning and development I believe is essential and necessary.
When attachments are secure, a child can continue to develop resilience thus, being more able to adapt to the current outbreak of Covid-19. Similar to the European culture that Maggie discusses, I acknowledge the importance of my child’s need for the secure attachments that her teachers, childminders and immediate and extended family offer. These partnerships enable me to be a good enough parent. According to Lungaard, (2018) reflection is imperative and encompasses how we manage our daily life. Lungaard explores mentalising and the crucial role of this in developing resilience. Resilience is often referred to when guiding Early Years professionals to explore how children cope with change. Deeper reflection acknowledges the role of attachment and the need for this to support a child in being able to develop coping mechanisms. What concerns me, like Maggie, is the vulnerable children and loss of attachment to the practitioner who is often the advocate for these children and their families. At this time I fear that anxious-ambivalent attachments for children will rise.
I anticipate that the value of the role of the educator as more than a teaching agent will be acknowledged as we move forward. Individualised learning in the future will require some review and adaptation to support the varied needs that will become apparent when we start to transition after this pandemic ends. The significance of the students on the Foundation Degree Early Childhood and their role in practice at this time leads to feelings of admiration. They are currently applying a growth mindset to their study, learning and practice whilst continuing to offer care and the emotional context for the children of key workers and vulnerable families who continue to attend the settings they work within. This does not come without implications for their own wellbeing as frontline practitioners, students and in some cases as parents themselves.
My confidence lies in the excellent skills and qualities that my Early Childhood students have, with the same applying to my own daughter’s educators. To date, their support and guidance has been wonderful. However like Maggie, I too reflect again on the major implications for some parents and children in this current situation and on our many settings and the wider services in our sector.
This blog was written by Selena Hall, Programme Lead Foundation Degree Early Childhood, at our partner college, North Warwickshire South Leicestershire College.
Lundgaard, P. (2018). Developing Resilience in Children and Young People: a Practical Guide. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781315209111.
Springer (2019). HANDBOOK OF PARENTING AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFESPAN. [Place of publication not identified], SPRINGER. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-94598-9