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Parenting During a Pandemic

Parenting During a Pandemic

We all know that parenting is hard, but parenting during a global crisis is something none of us signed up for and no one’s written the book on it just yet. With schools across the country closed until further notice, millions of people have been laid off from their jobs, the country is in a very strange state of limbo and everyone is trying to adjust to a new reality.

A recent study conducted by the University of Michigan found that the Coronavirus outbreak is taking a toll on parents. The study-conducted through an online survey with over 500 participants found that 52% of parents admitted self-isolating and financial worry were getting in the way of their parenting (S.J. Lee., K. P. Ward., 2020). If you find yourself struggling with parenting during this time, here are some tips and things to remember:

 

  • Practice Self-Compassion:  Remember that you have never been in this situation as a parent before, and you are doing the best you can do with this situation you have been given.
  • Make a Routine: Children thrive when they have a set schedule. Try keeping them on the same daily routine so they have at least a little daily normalcy. You can make it fun by including them and writing up the daily schedule together.
  • Answer their Questions: Just like you, your kids are going to have questions and be confused about all these new changes. You can start a dialogue by simply asking them what they know about the situation and go from there. For help in explaining the virus, check out Snappy Kids story “Worried Wendall & the Bad Germ”
  • Check in With Them: They’re stressed and anxious, too. It’s important we check in with our kids to see how they’re doing and what they might be feeling and share how you’re feeling too. Your child might be validated knowing their mom or dad is feeling just as anxious as they are.
  • Redirect Behaviors: If being bored and stuck inside has caused your child to act out, it’s important to redirect bad behavior instead of immediately getting angry and yelling. If you catch your kid before or in the early stages of behaving badly, try redirecting it with a different activity like a game or a walk outside. If you feel like yelling, take a 10 second pause and take a couple of deep breaths and remove yourself from the situation if you have to. 
  • Take Time for Yourself: Of course our kids are important, but if we aren’t taking time to care for ourselves it’ll be harder to deal with the stress of our kids. Give yourself time to relax each day and do whatever it is you need to do to reduce any stress and feel grounded. Try an online yoga class, meditation or go for a walk outside.
  • Schedule an Online Playdate: If they miss their friends, maybe reach out to their parents and see if you can schedule a virtual playdate for your kids.
  • Breathe:  In the end, remember that is a unique, time-limited situation.  With patience and time, you will make it through this and so will your kiddos!

 

It’s important to remember that we are in the middle of a global crisis. Be kind to yourself as you navigate this new reality. It’s going to take time to figure out what works for you and your family and that is okay. If you are struggling with parenting during this time, schedule an appointment with one of our therapists today!

 

SOURCE:

 

Lee, S. J., & Ward, K. P. (2020, March 26). Stress and parenting during the coronavirus pandemic. Retrieved from https://www.parentingincontext.org/uploads/8/1/3/1/81318622/research_brief_stress_and_parenting_during_the_coronavirus_pandemic_final.pdf

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