The Emotional Intelligence Livestream #26


Parenting in Transition

In the messy process of change, how can we support ourselves & our kids to find more balance?

Even in “normal times,” times of transition are complex for parents and children. JUST when it seemed like you’d all figured out how to balance, the floor tilts because of events such as starting school, people moving, new siblings, new jobs, or just getting older.

And, these are far from “normal times.” In pandemic times, everything is magnified: Our stresses and fears as parents are even bigger. Kids’ stresses and fear are also even bigger.

Think about the effects of our kids and on parents: According to an ABC poll, 77% of Americans say their lives have been disrupted by the virus, 70% are highly stressed, 92% expect a recession. Julianne Holt-Lunstad wrote in HealthAffairs: within the first few months of the pandemic loneliness increased by 20 to 30 percent, and emotional distress tripled. Cigna Loneliness & Workplace: 2020 U.S. report: 61% U.S are lonely – so loneliness is an epidemic being magnified by the CV19 epidemic.

So what do we do? We’re in this highly volatile, lonely, stressful context… for many families school is starting and jobs are changing: How do we parent now? 


May Duong.  Blending her expertise in emotional intelligence, coaching, mindfulness, and positive psychology, May directs the SEL program at Synapse School with passion and a clear vision. May founded and continues to lead Synapse’s Parent Education program, a feature that sets Synapse’s SEL program apart and keeps it in the leading edge. May is responsible for EQ training for the teaching staff, develops the strategic plan for students’ SEL curriculum, and teaches Self Science. Prior to Synapse, May was the Director of Parent Education with Six Seconds, where she helped launch the United Nations Children’s Day Festival and the Raising Humans parenting podcast. Besides her SEL role, May also leads the Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity efforts at Synapse, which focuses on ensuring an inclusive and accessible school community. May earned an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business and a BA in Philosophy and Asian Studies from Mount Holyoke College. May is certified with Six Seconds and the International Coaches Federation. When not working, May enjoys majestic views of nature, watching her family savor her culinary creations, and reading anything that shifts her current paradigm.

May Kassem is a therapist with an M.A. in Counseling from Webster University in Geneva, Switzerland and a Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator and a Certified Positive Discipline Early Childhood Educator. She has over 15 years of experience working in both Egypt and internationally in a variety of settings such as psychiatric institutions, private clinics, and schools. May has worked with clients who are suffering from severe psychiatric disorders, addiction, family issues, anxiety & depression, and general life adjustment challenges. She also provides international organizations with psycho-educational sessions in emergency situations, Mental Health First Aid & wellness in the workplace. May conducts Mindfulness-Based group sessions for stress & behavioral management, and has extensive experience with meditation and visualization techniques. May is a member of the Positive Discipline Association and is certified in Mental Health First Aid by Johns Hopkins University in the USA. Most recently, May co-founded Scarabaeus Sacer in 2019, an ethical fashion brand producing 100% organic Egyptian cotton streetwear. With thematic collections, the label advocates for social and environmental issues and aims for fashion to be a tool to start conversation and raise awareness. 

Gerald Bush, is owner and Chief EQ Officer for GBKB Consulting, an emotional intelligence management, and leadership consulting firm.  Gerald has several years of experience delivering leadership and change management initiatives, leading critical thinking and evaluations, and managing innovative HR initiatives. Gerald understands what it takes to develop consultative business solutions and recommend programs that align with the mission and vision of an organization.  

Joshua Freedman, cofounder and CEO, The Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Network, working since 1997 toward a world with more EQ. Josh is a Master Certified Coach and author of the best-selling At the Heart of Leadership

Key Questions:

  •  What’s one terrible piece of parenting advice you received

  • What’s something you’re hearing from parents that’s different or changed in the harsh light of 2020?

  • What’s a challenge that’s unchanged, just  “normal impossible” of parenting?
  • What are some of your feelings that you’re grappling with as a parent?
  • How do we reframe the question of, “How was your day?”
  • How have you repurposed your daily schedule to navigate or assist with learning for your children?
  • If you could wave your magic wand and gift parents with one new skill for parenting in transition… what would you choose?

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