How to Parent During "VUCA" Times

Whether you’ve heard the term or not...we’re all living in “VUCA” times. The term “VUCA” was first used in the 1980’s as a term that helped military leaders describe the climate of difficult situations and determine the best leadership strategy to move forward. It has since been adopted by a wide variety of organizations and used as a basis for many leadership strategies.

What are “VUCA” Times?

This term can be used to describe many different specific situations, but each situation must contain 4 distinct qualities - volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.

V - Volatile

The quality of being subject to frequent, rapid, and significant change.

U - Uncertain

A component of a situation in which events and outcomes are unpredictable.

C - Complex

A multiplicity of issues and factors, some of which may be intricately interconnected.

A - Ambiguous

A lack of clarity that includes difficulty understanding exactly what the situation is.

As you can see, this term describes our world’s current situation pretty well. We are indeed in volatile, uncertain, complex, and very ambiguous times on multiple fronts.

So, now that we’ve classified what we’re going through collectively, let’s use this classification to help us parent better during these difficult times.

How to Parent During “VUCA” Times

Be Present, Not Perfect - Your children need you right now more than ever. Don’t fret about being “perfect”, you simply showing up for your kids day in and day out is what will help them get through this unscathed.

Talk Openly and Often - Don’t be afraid to talk about the past! Just like it’s important to talk about memories when grieving the loss of a loved one, give yourself and your children the freedom to talk about missing the way things were.

Name It to Tame It - Help your children describe the emotions they’re feeling and use this opportunity to teach them how sometimes simply naming your thoughts can help them become more manageable and less overwhelming.

Allow Feelings to Be Confusing - As humans, we feel many different things all at the same time. Especially during difficult times like these our sometimes contradictory emotions can get confusing - encourage your children to allow themselves to be confused and simply accept how they feel, knowing it will pass.

Parenting is difficult enough already, but parenting during times as tumultuous and uncertain as these is a whole different ball game. I hope that these tips help you and your children connect in this time and brings a bit of peace to what can certainly be an anxious situation. However, if you’re finding yourself feeling completely overwhelmed and in need of a hand to help pull you out of the mess, please email me at or call my office at (310) 614-0323 so we can set up a time to connect and game plan together.