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:

Share your perspective!

We’re looking for honest stories from parents in Connecticut. Have any tips for other families? Experiences you want to share? Fill this form out!

Parenting During COVID-19

“That ended up being the best thing that worked for us.”

Janell talks about how she found child care during COVID-19 and gives some advice for new parents.

“Juggling during COVID was very, very challenging — but I got through it.”

Watch Briggitte talk about how she wore multiple hats during COVID-19 — taking on the role of full-time mom, teacher, and employee all at once.

“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. Watch the video.

“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. Watch the video.

See more of our stories about parenting during COVID-19 and other topics. Check out our YouTube channel.

Everyday parenting — challenges and rewards

“[My doula and midwives] taught me how to do this journey in a mentally healthy way.”

What are the resources that make the biggest difference for parents? Watch mom Lauren talk about how working with her doula, midwives, and therapist to take care of her health changed her life.

“At that time I didn’t have too much knowledge about autism. It was very difficult for me.”

Watch Lena talk about parenting a daughter with autism and what she’s learned since her daughter was first diagnosed. Find out about the early intervention supports and services that helped her daughter and family thrive.

Becoming a Parent: “Show them all the love you possibly can … they will end up thriving.”

What’s the greatest obstacle you’ve overcome as a grandparent? Sherry talks about how she found out she was a grandparent to baby Julius and her advice for other young grandparents. Watch the video.

Becoming a parent: “It’s hard at first … but once you go along, the journey is definitely worth it.”

What’s it like to become a mom at a young age? Maria talks about finding out she was pregnant when she was already 7 months along, the experience of telling her parents, and how her son is the light of her life. Watch the video.

Watch more stories from parents on our YouTube channel.

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.

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

David worried about raising his new son 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.

Watch more stories from parents on our YouTube channel.

Need resources?

Looking for resources and support with raising young children, COVID-19, or talking to kids about race? Check out some starting points below.

Parenting in General


Our COVID-19 resources include links to support lines, help from childhood experts, tips for discussing COVID-19 with your children, and more. Find support during COVID-19.

Race and racial identity

Start the conversation with your children. Watch a PBS video about how to talk to your children about race.

Last updated November 23, 2021