Parenting during a Pandemic
Updated: Apr 30
Parenting is HARD in a normal environment. So, parenting during a pandemic can be downright BRUTAL!
Below are some parenting tips to help:
Stay Connected. Schedule Zoom, Face Time and social media contact with your friends. Encourage this socialization for your children as well. Schedule an online "play group" for your children with their friends. Set up a family chat with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Feeling isolated may only make you and your family feel worse so reach out to your support system.
Limit your media exposure. Only watch updates on the Corona virus from creditable outlets such as the CDC, local health departments, and experts in the field. Only provide age appropriate material (for younger children) from reputable sources. Be aware of what older children and adolescents are being exposed to on social media. Allow them to ask questions. Encourage them to express their feelings by drawing or journaling. Recognize that feelings of loneliness, fear of contracting the illness, anxiety, and stress are normal reactions to the current pandemic.
Stick to a schedule. Keeping the whole family on a schedule can create some sense of normalcy during this time. Keep yourself and your children on schedule with meal times, school work, exercise, and bedtime.
Get outside and get moving with your family. Plan exercise outside such as walking, bike riding, throwing a ball, or playing a sport. Make sure you and your family are being active. Maybe try a new yoga video or working out together.
Enjoy your time together as a family. This may be the ONLY time you will have with your family without all the distractions of the outside world. So relish these moments and play another game, watch another movie, bake another treat, make a video together on Tik Tok, take silly pictures with Snap chat filters, and snuggle a little longer while you still can.
Practice self care. As parents with children home all day and you may also be working from home, it is hard to get away and disconnect for even a few minutes. As difficult as this may be, take some time for yourself on a daily basis. Ask your spouse or oldest child to supervise the little ones while you carve out a few minutes to engage in self care. Some ideas for self care include engaging in an activity your enjoy (art, photography, fitness, reading) taking a walk, a hot bath, a hot shower, doing a meditation, watching a funny video on You Tube, or a funny television show or movie. Parents need this to maintain their sanity and be able to continue to practice patience with their children.
Ask for help. If these strategies do not seem to be enough, reach out for an online session with a counselor. It's OK to ask for help. As counselors, we are here to help you with coping skills during this uncertain time.