For Families, By Families: Keep It Real Initiative

The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC) is dedicated to helping children and families in Connecticut thrive. We created the For Families, By Families — Keep It Real Initiative video series to give parents a voice and to help families learn from one another.

Get honest, unfiltered perspectives from other Connecticut parents about key topics — everyday challenges, parenting during COVID-19, and confronting racial injustice.

Parenting During COVID-19

Parenting During COVID-19: “Juggling during COVID was very, very challenging—but I got through it.”

During COVID, many parents have experienced wearing multiple hats as they juggle more responsibilities than ever before. Watch Briggitte talk about taking on the role of full-time mom, teacher, and employee all at once—and more.

Need support during COVID-19?

Learn about resources available to you, including support lines, early childhood experts, and more.

Parenting During COVID-19: “That ended up being the best thing that worked for us.”

Finding the right child care is so important and it can be challenging — even when we’re not living through a pandemic. Watch Janell discuss how she found child care during COVID-19 and hear her advice for new parents.

Need help finding child care?

Learn about your child care options and connect with resources to find the right fit for you and your child.

Parenting During COVID-19: “My support system is my everything.”

Watch Ashley discuss where she finds support during COVID-19 — and how she cherishes the extra time with her young children.

Get Resources from Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

Connecticut Children’s has a “winter kit” to help parents during COVID-19 — a series of articles about family activities, helping children cope, and more. Learn more from Connecticut Children’s.

Parenting During COVID-19: “Once I started to go with the flow, things improved.”

Small changes in your routine can have a big effect. Watch Jamie discuss how relaxing her schedule and adding a morning walk helped her children — and Jamie herself — cope better during the day.

Learn how to reduce stress

Get tips on managing your own stress — and helping your family cope too. Read about stress and coping from the CDC.

Parenting During COVID-19: “Don’t give up — don’t fold.”

Hear Kam talk about the most rewarding moments — and hardest challenges — he’s experienced during COVID-19.

Set reasonable expectations

It’s okay if your routines need to change during COVID-19. Get tips on how to support yourself — and your family — from the National Center on Pyramid Model Innovations.

Parenting During COVID-19: “My mom has been my source of strength.”

During COVID-19, Chenae juggled raising her daughter, finishing her Masters degree, and completing an internship — and she says she couldn’t have done it without the support of her mom.

Need support?

Dial 2-1-1 to get help — or check out 2-1-1 of Connecticut’s website.

Parenting During COVID-19: “Self care is not selfish.”

As a parent, it’s easy to spend all your energy focusing on your children’s needs. Mary talks about how important it is for parents to take care of themselves, too.

Take care of yourself

Self-care is essential for everyone — but especially if you’re a caregiver for young children. Learn about the importance of self care from Zero to Three.

Everyday parenting — challenges and rewards

Parenting a newborn: “These resources helped me feel a sense of guidance and direction.”

Watch Carla discuss the emotions of motherhood and resources that helped her when she brought her baby home, like the Nurturing Families Network (a home visiting program) and Birth to Three.

Discover great resources

Learn more about home visiting programs that provide support and services to families — right in their own homes.

Birth to Three programs help families enhance their child’s development and connect to their communities. Learn about Birth to Three.

Handling challenging behavior: “You have to help them calm down first.”

When your child is in the middle of a tantrum, talking with them — or yelling at them — won’t work. Betty shares how she helps her son relax before having a discussion and finding a solution.

Discover great resources

Learn more about home visiting programs that provide support and services to families — right in their own homes.

Birth to Three programs help families enhance their child’s development and connect to their communities. Learn about Birth to Three.

Becoming a Parent: “You’re entering a new world.”

Ashley talks about the challenges and rewards of life after bringing her baby home from the hospital.

Keep your new baby safe during COVID-19

OEC has a factsheet full of tips and resources for new parents. Check out the factsheet.

Talking About Race and Racism with Your Child

Discussing Race with Your Child: “It was a nice way to begin the conversation.”

Chenae talks about her own experience coming from a mixed family — and how she used a PBS video to start a helpful discussion about race with her own daughter.

Start the conversation with your children

Watch the PBS video Chenae used to begin talking about race with her daughter.

Discussing Race with Your Child: “I don’t want him to be afraid to live in this world.”

When David found out he was going to be a father, his joy was undercut by concern. How would his son be treated in a country that makes it hard for Black men to succeed? While his son is still too young for “the talk” now, learn how David plans to approach it — and how he wants his child to understand the history of racial injustice without feeling held back by it.

Last updated May 27, 2021