Parenting skills are constantly challenged by the pandemic. With the stacked-up responsibilities to their kids and professional life coupled with the drastic shift to remote modes of learning and working, moms and dads are trying not to break under the pressure of it all. If you’re a struggling parent, read on because we’ve rounded up the most useful tips that’ll help keep your sanity intact and your kids in check during lockdown season.
On Tough Questions
What kids might be asking you a lot now is, “When will this be over?” Difficult to answer indeed, but instead of settling with an honest I don’t know, it’s better to add, “What do we have control over now?” In this confusing time, what matters to kids is to have some sense of control despite the uncertainties of everything. Plan fun trips and activities that your kids will be thrilled about. Surely, everyone in the family already misses going out to the hotspots in London City and other places.
The “F” Word
In these stressful times, it’s not a surprise that everybody seems easily ticked off even by the smallest things due to their pandemic-thinned patience. This happens most often to parents with young kids at home. Now, you should be able to forgive yourself when you don’t handle your kids’ misbehaviour with the expected patience and grace of a parent. You cannot be at your best at all times, and it’s okay.
When the situation becomes overwhelming, take a breather to give yourself some much-needed space. This may just work wonders for your patience. But if the worst happens and your temper blows, the most important thing to do is to make amends and apologize to your kid. Let them know that the outburst wasn’t intentional and that you didn’t mean to act the way you did. Make-up hugs are recommended.
Baptism by Fire
The work-from-home setup immediately became the norm for many due to the pandemic. However, instead of having more flexible schedules, parents are now juggling chores and work shifts in between tending to the needs of their children and meeting the demands of their employers. Between kids and bosses, the rational pick would be the kids, but a better way to deal with this is recognizing the situation as a learning opportunity for your child to be independent.
Kids have to be equipped with life skills because their parents cannot be with them all the time. For them to learn this, you must remove yourself from the situation and let your child exercise their critical thinking. Doing so would train them to be resilient and self-sufficient problem-solvers when faced with challenges. You’re also teaching them that it’s okay to make mistakes as it’s part of the learning process.
School starts at Home
With the remote learning setup, parents are worried that their children are not learning enough because kids who have adequate resources aren’t even getting more than two hours of teacher instruction per day. Here’s a reminder: your home is full of potential learning experiences.
Take cooking for example. In that activity alone, you’re honing the literacy skills of your child by reading the recipe. A math component is present in measuring the ingredients. There’s science in the substances’ changing appearance due to the properties of matter.
And since fun is fundamental, board games like Scrabble and Monopoly can come into play as these facilitate language development and math skills, respectively.
Words Bridge Gaps
As lockdown measures loosen, more families opt to not wear masks whenever going outside. Some parents are allowing their children to play in public parks. When witnessed by a child, this situation can make him feel that you’re being mean or unfair for not letting him do the same. It’s in cases like this that it becomes important for you as a parent to bridge the gap between what your child sees and what you need him to understand.
Explain that different families have different rules, and that in this case, your family just wants to do things a certain way to ensure that all family members will remain safe from the virus. Emphasize that your family rules are bound by the efforts of each member, and that he—your kid—is playing an important role in keeping the family healthy. This encourages them to be more helpful, making it easier for them to understand and follow the rules.
Being a parent isn’t easy to begin with, and the COVID-19 situation has only proven to be another obstacle in the way of smooth sailing between adults and kids stuck together at home. But then again, as lockdown and abrupt changes in one’s lifestyle continue, you shouldn’t let yourself fall handicap to the current sitch. Instead, make the most out of it and consider every win as an indication of your success in putting your family first.