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resilience in children during Covid-19

How MiLegasi’s founder deals with resilience in children during COVID-19

Over the past few months, Covid-19 has had a tremendous impact on everyone world-wide. It has disrupted our routines, sense of structure, and security. The pandemic has not only threatened our physical health but also our mental health as we all try to adapt to these changing and uncertain times. While we as adults are able to understand the situation, children are struggling during this time, which is why it is crucial that caregivers work to build emotional resilience in children during Covid-19. 

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resilience in children during Covid-19

Janny Perez and her daughter (Photo courtesy Janny Perez)

Janny Perez, founder of Mi Legasi, has been working to do just that with her young daughter. Family has always been at the center of Janny’s life from growing up in Miami surrounded by a rich cultural community to becoming a mother herself and starting her family-focused brand, she has always believed in the power of family. 

Her company is a brand that offers both clothing and multicultural tools to help parents raise bilingual children who appreciate their Latino heritage. Her work centers around building strong bonds between parents and children through a positive celebration of heritage and her belief in the power of family has only strengthened during the pandemic. 

Managing big emotions in children

Children have big emotions for such little people. These emotions are often difficult to handle, even in normal situations. During times of stress and trauma, it can become even harder for young children to regulate their own emotions and you may notice children acting out more and having tantrums. These responses are expressions of their own stress and anxiety.

resilience in children during Covid-19

Janny Perez and her daughter (Photo courtesy Janny Perez)

Many parents, like Janny, have been thrust into new and uncertain territory as they try to juggle quarantine, homeschooling, running a business and just trying to stay sane! They may feel uncertain themselves and may not know how to handle their own emotions, let alone their child’s emotions.

However, having a sensitive, responsive caregiver is essential to building resilience in children during Covid-19. Children depend on the adults in their lives to provide a sense of safety and security. They can easily pick up on stress, anxiety, and negative emotions and will model their behavior after others. Children learn to regulate their own emotions from these models, so it is especially important that parents and caregivers take the time to manage their own stress and emotions in positive ways for children to emulate their responses. 

Talking to your child about Covid-19

Adults should also be honest about the situation with their young children and maintain open communication by using age-appropriate information to talk about Covid-19 .

Janny and her husband, Percy, faced this difficulty with their own daughter. Recently turned 5-years old, their daughter was looking forward to her birthday party and to see her friends and family. However, due to the pandemic, the party had to be virtual. 

resilience in children during Covid-19

Janny, her husband and their daughter celebrating her birthday (Photo courtesy Janny Perez)

“It was especially hard to explain to her that no one besides mom and dad would be physically there,” says Janny. “As adults we are resilient, but kids are definitely going through a very hard time right now.” 

Many parents are having similar conversations with their children and while it may be difficult, having these open conversations, as Janny did with her daughter, will help children develop great resilience and understanding of the situation. 

Additionally, parents can follow the 3 R’s suggested by experts of reassurance, routine, and regulation to help build further resilience in children during Covid-19. 

You may be interested: Repositioning her brand, Gladys Cleaning Services faces COVID-19

Resilience as a foundation for life

 By creating a safe, supportive environment and communicating with her young daughter about the situation, Janny is working to instill life-long resilience in her daughter.  This resilience will equip her with the tools to navigate these uncertain times and any future obstacles in life. The major lesson Janny and her family have learned during the pandemic is how to approach unexpected situations with a flexible and resilient mentality.

“This whole experience has taught us that in life you can only plan so much,” Janny says. “Sometimes life has its own plans and you have to be flexible and willing to adapt.” 

Though there have been some challenging and exhausting moments, Janny feels blessed to have her husband at home more and they have become a stronger, unified front for Mi Legasi. Additionally during this time they have helped serve their community by making affordable face masks which are available for sale on their site now. 

resilience in children during Covid-19

MiLegasi masks for adults and children (Photo courtesy Janny Perez)

“I believe that if we can go through this now, we can face any challenge or adversity in the future,” she says. “When you’re surrounded by people that lift you, anything and everything is possible.” 

And while each day may bring new challenges and difficulties, Janny and her family are taking it one day at a time…”one cafecito at a time.”

Latino traditions

Janny Perez Mi Legasi keeps Latino traditions alive for moms and kids

Latina entrepreneur Janny Perez is the creator of Mi Legasi, a bilingual subscription box and shop that brings the vibrant Latino culture to moms who want their children to learn and cherish their Latino traditions. 

Janny Perez Mi Legasi at the 2017 Latina SmallBiz Expo in Newark NJ keeping Latino traditions alive.

Mi Legasi strives to empower families and connect children with their Latino traditions and culture. Each box comes with a variety of items such as bilingual Spanish books, toys, games, craft projects, and family activities along with special gifts for mamá such as beauty, home, office, or accessory items.

The idea for Mi Legasi came after Janny had her daughter, Victoria, in 2015. “I felt the need to ensure that she understood where she came from and what it meant for her to be Latina,” Janny explains. “I wanted her to experience the music, foods, language, culture and stories that were passed down to me.”

In May of 2017 Mi Legasi was officially created as a way to empower moms and families to connect with Latino traditions and culture, focus on quality family time, and create their own legacy.

Mi Legacy keeps  Latino traditions alive

Latino traditions

Janny Perez’s daughter Victoria was the inspiration for her company Mi Legasi

Mi Legasi is Janny’s legacy, which she dedicates as tribute to her immigrant parents and to her daughter Victoria as a reminder that anything can be accomplished through hard work and dedication.

Janny credits her father for much of her spirit and dedication. “He is my hero,” she says. The youngest of many siblings, her father grew up poor on a coffee farm in Colombia. “He had dreams of flying and seeing the world. Without any formal education and lots of hard work, sweat, and determination, my father accomplished this.” It is this dedication and example that has influenced Janny to strive for her own dreams.

Janny Perez as  Latina entrepreneur

Latino traditions

Bilingual books included in the subscription box

As a Latina entrepreneur, she believes her biggest strengths to be her tenacity, creativity, and generosity.

“Tenacity is not just going after your dream, but taking action to get there,” Janny explains. “It’s waking up early or working late while the rest of the world sleeps. It’s the ability to face rejection with optimism because you know something bigger will come.”

Her creativity helps her in many aspects of her business, from design and product creation to photography and social media posts. Lastly, her generosity allows her to use her business platform to help others from sending Latina moms suffering due to illness a Mi Legasi kindness package to donating to impoverished children in Latin America.

She believes the key to facing all obstacles and challenges is to be headstrong and disciplined. “If you let fear drive you, you won’t go far.” She has three key mottos to staying strong. First is to trust in your faith, whatever that may be– “God, the universe or your gut. It’s that spark inside you that keeps you pushing forward.” Second is to be flexible and open to change. And last is to have patience. All things take time.

Never be afraid to speak up

Latino traditions

The box also includes products for mom.

To Latinas looking to dive into their own business ventures or achieve success in their careers Janny says, “Never be afraid to speak up and don’t settle just because it’s the status quo….As Latinas we are afraid. Our culture has at times limited our beliefs that we can. We are the lowest paid of minorities. We need to break the cycle.”

Overall, Janny advises to stay determined and know the realities of starting a business. “Know that you will likely lose money, work day and night, make lots of sacrifices, worry, and that the road is curved and unpredictable but what you learn and the connections you make are far greater than you’d expect. Know that you can and you will, just one day at a time!”

On her struggles as a business owner Janny says, “Being a ‘mompreneur’ has been quite challenging. It’s not a regular 9 to 5 job so you don’t really have days off, but it’s flexible.”

Janny believes in the importance of creating one’s own legacy and following one’s dreams no matter the obstacles. All things are possible with hard work, patience, and tenacity. Her business came from her motherhood and so Janny hopes that Mi Legasi can help and inspire other Latina moms to create their own legacies with their children.  

 

Latino traditions