(NEW YORK) — During the coronavirus pandemic, TikTok became a platform of learning for many stuck indoors. Some learned how to cook, knit and even remodel their living rooms thanks to experts who shared their knowledge with others on the app.
And for children struggling at home during the pandemic, the social video app became a source in helping them learn how to read or solve math problems and more.
But what about parents who struggled to be a parent during the pandemic? Well, there’s a TikTok video for that too.
As parents took on the roles of teachers and tutors too, some were looking for guidance. And thanks to Charles Lewis, help was never far away.
When the pandemic hit, Lewis — who goes by “Mr. Chazz” on TikTok — an education specialist from Virginia, began creating videos to help parents and teachers.
“I saw how much, especially in the beginning, how much parents were really struggling with this new challenge that they were facing,” he told ABC News’ Good Morning America. “I was listening and I was like, I totally have a lot of knowledge and wisdom and experience that I can share.”
As an education specialist, Lewis works with directors and teachers having a hard time in the classroom.
“Whenever there was a challenge or something, they would call me to kind of assess the situation and help the child and the teacher be successful in that environment,” he said.
He’s helping parents tackle sensitive subjects like parental punishments and breaking the cycle of some parenting techniques.
Here’s some of his advice when it comes to parenting:
Stop saying ‘don’t’ and say ‘do’
While parents may have a tendency to say “no” or “stop,” Lewis urges not to use those terms for everything.
One example he shared was if your child is coloring on the walls and you tell them to stop. While they can’t express it, Lewis says that a child has a need to color on the walls.
“That is a need. They have it in their bodies and you’re just telling them, ‘no,’ ‘stop,’ ‘don’t,’ then it’s going to be really stressful for you,” said Lewis. “It’s going to be really stressful for the child.”
Instead of saying “don’t” or “stop,” Lewis said to understand why your child needs to color on the walls and what their behavior is that they’re trying to communicate.
“Let’s observe their underlying needs and learn skills and start from there,” he added.
Don’t ignore their needs
Instead of saying something along the lines of “don’t color on the walls,” Lewis said to tell your child what to do that meets your need of them not coloring on the walls anymore, which will also not ignore their needs of coloring on the walls.
“This is, let’s find another way to meet that need that’s more appropriate for the situation, right?” said Lewis.
In this situation, you can get them some crayons and a piece of paper or paper propped up on an easel to color on instead.
Don’t be a perfectionist, be an ‘improve-inist’
While parenting is not always easy and takes practice, Lewis says it’s counterproductive in this process to be a perfectionist.
“Don’t focus on being perfect every day and comparing yourself to other people or parents or even your child,” said Lewis. “The goal isn’t to be perfect every day. The goal is to improve a little every day.”
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