For more than a decade, researchers at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education and Human Development have been developing, testing and disseminating a set of practices called “Banking Time” that builds positive relationships between teachers and their students. Amanda Williford, an associate professor and a member of that team, believes these practices can be helpful to families with children of all ages while at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
“At home, there are more demands on both children and parents,” she said. “Parents are asking children to do schoolwork on top of typical chores, and in this pandemic they are expected to now be parents and teachers. The stress on kids and on parents is really high, not just because of adding ‘teacher and student’ roles, but because of many other challenges, including financial, health, etc. This is a recipe for conflict.”
Banking Time is designed explicitly to interrupt the conflict in adult-child relationships and reset those connections.
Williford explained that in nearly all parenting or teaching scenarios, parents are “in charge” of the interactions; they set the expectations and criteria for success. Adding the demands of being a teacher to those of being a parent can increase the stress of the parent-child relationship, especially for kids and parents who might already be stressed.