In the City Camps and Jewish Family & Career Services have partnered on a Pandemic Parenting series to give parents assistance, ideas, and counseling during COVID-19. “Pandemic Parenting was really born from experiences I was having, and my friends were having,” Eileen Price, In The City founder and CEO, said in a press release. “Juggling work, children, family dynamics, emotions, financial worries, all while trying to understand COVID-19 is a lot to deal with and we wanted to help.”
In the City Camps spokesperson Tali Benjamin told the AJT the camp had started to plan the series in April and launched it in June. It continues through the rest of this month with regular programming.
“What we really try to focus on are what are some needs that a clinician can really help with,” Benjamin said. Some of the emphasis is on marital challenges and regulating childrens’ emotions, issues that have come up when families are sheltering-at-home together, she said. “We’re trying to provide some of these resources for people and let people know you’re not alone.”
Since the pandemic hit in March, In the City Camps has heard comments from families that are having difficulty creating a schedule for their families and dealing with emotional upheaval, Benjamin said.
Terri Bonoff, CEO of JF&CS, said in the release, “I am glad our team can reach community members through this partnership and series. Our clinicians are touching on subjects that can really make a difference in a family’s life right now – from emotional regulation to routines and structure – there’s a lot of good discussion happening.”
The entire series is virtual. Thursday evenings are the hour-long Family Fun Night Series, with each week a different topic in either art or cooking. The Talk, Tips, & Tools sessions are led by JF&CS clinicians Friday mornings on a variety of topics to help families navigate the uncertain time.
Topics have included family dynamics and social injustice. “This goes through the end of the month. We’ll likely extend it,” Benjamin said.
In the City Camps has been running virtual camp since March, before they were able to begin in-person camp at The Weber School last week. “We kept hearing from parents, ‘This has been so great for us, thank you, because we’ve really been struggling with what to do with our kids. This gives us something productive to do,’” Benjamin said.
“We were getting little comments here and there and JF&CS was similarly having conversations with clients. [The clinicians] were getting more questions for certain parenting-related things … That’s really how the partnership came to be. We have a big population of families. They have the expertise, some of the clinical services and advice.”
Benjamin said the program has been attracting between 10 and 15 people per session, but they’re hoping to spread the word and expand the resource to more people. “The biggest thing for JF&CS and for us is that we really are about building the community and supporting the community, so that’s really what Pandemic Parenting is all about.”