Parenting is, hands-down, the most challenging and fulfilling job in the world. Especially during a pandemic when everything from career to relationships has become tougher.
Not only do you have to maintain a healthy relationship with your children, but you also need to take care of their needs – both mental and physical.
Now, we know that parenting is not like a game of Football with certain rules and guidelines. As a parent, you have to find a way to communicate with your child, no matter what the situation.
We’ve reduced legwork for you with some amazing tips for better parenting during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
1. Family Time for Everyone
This might not sound ideal, but COVID-19 has given us all a chance to reconnect with our family members, especially children. In our tight and hectic schedules, we barely make time for people we hold so close to our hearts.
Being a parent, it is easy to miss so many moments of your child’s life while you are busy at work or they are at school away from you. And, we know that lockdown and restrictions are not an ideal scenario for your children to connect, so it is normal to feel overwhelmed when you are spending every minute with them. However, this is what you have got and you have to make the best of it.
Here are some ways you can make the most of it:
- Set aside the family time to spend with your children, it has to be separate from everyday meals or family activities that you do on normal days. If you have more than one child, it is better to set aside at least 20 minutes for each. It doesn’t have to be a regular activity; you can do it on alternate days.
- Involve your child in the activities that you plan. Ask them what they would like to do in their 20 minutes’ slot. Make sure it is about them and not you, nor the whole family. Keep boundaries about the activities if you like, you can even keep some options for them. Again, it must involve their interest.
Pro Tip: Have fun outside of the digital world. Read some books together, arrange a puppet show, or sow some seeds if you have to!
2. Managing Your Child’s Online Classes
If anything, the pandemic has made parents busier than usual because of the whole transition from the physical world to the digital world. You might be feeling that you are the one dealing with stress, but your children are equally stressed too. They are away from their favorite teachers, friends, and school in general. If they have not been at their best behavior lately, it is a sign that they are upset.
We understand that it is challenging for you and your children to stay on track with school assignments. First thing first: go easy on your kids and yourself. Know that you cannot control everything, but you can make it easier for everyone. And, here is how you and your children can manage stress and understand each other better:
- You are not alone in this and this is why you should reach out to other parents as much as you can. Write them emails, give them a call, or post it on support groups on social media if you have to -gather people who are going through the same. Exchange information, ask for tips, share your stories, and don’t shy back from telling your mistakes. This will help you in staying focused and positive.
- Who knows your child as much as you do, if not better in some cases? Their teachers! Now is the time to connect with your children’s teacher ―the one they keep talking about after school. Before you reach out to them, keep in mind that they aren’t perfect either. It is the same for everyone including them since everyone has a margin of trial and error. Asking for an individualized learning plan can help your child better if they are struggling in a particular area. You can also request the teacher to share the child’s strengths and weaknesses to work upon them.
- Set goals and a routine to achieve them. Objectives give your children something to look forward to and to stay motivated while a routine enables normalcy. Make your children feel that everyone (from teachers to parents) is involved in the process. Don’t go crazy with completion or timeframe to achieve the goals, it is about learning. You do not want to overwhelm anyone in the process.
- Involve rewards to help your children understand the purpose better. It doesn’t have to be grand purchases, you can do something simple such as allowing them to stay up late once, watch a TV show together, or cook their favourite meal.
3. Talk to Your Children About COVID-19
The more they know about it, the easier it becomes for both of you. It doesn’t mean that you have to share the stats with them or any stressful news. Just be willing to answer all their questions with meaningful information. If they have heard half-baked news, try to correct it. If it is something that they should not know, silencing is not the right approach. Talk openly about why they should not stress about it and tell them that you are there to protect them. On the other hand, if you don’t know anything, here are a few things you should say instead of sharing wrong information:
- We don’t know it yet, but we will get back to you on this.
- We are not sure about it yet, but we can learn together about it.
Here are a few more tips for better parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Be supportive, honest, and positive around your children. If your children are worried or confused, create a safe space for them to share their feelings. Give them time to evaluate their emotions.
- Explain pandemics, epidemics, and other viral diseases with your children. It is the best opportunity for them to learn about medical sciences.
- Tell them that COVID-19 has nothing to do with animals or the way someone looks.
- Teach them compassion, sympathy, and care. Look for stories that involve heroes and front-liners.
All in all, never stop growing or connecting with your children.
Support for Parents
If you are needing extra support or someone to speak to, get in touch. We have Telehealth Counselling available if you are in isolation. Our counsellors are incredibly supportive and understanding of the challenges that we face as parents.