Parenting during pandemic
The pressures of juggling work, chores, and your kids' school schedules while under lockdown can seem overwhelming
With schools and most workplaces closed due to COVID-19, many of us have found ourselves dealing with a new, and often very stressful, family situation. As well as having to work from home and run the household, you're likely also trying to keep your kids on track with their virtual school work all while being confined to home, cut off from the support of friends and loved ones.
As a parent at this time, it's easy to feel that you have so many roles to fulfill that you can't possibly perform any of them well. But it's important to remind yourself that this is a unique situation, a global health emergency that none of us have had to face before.
Join forces with other parents
Reach out via phone, email, or social media and exchange tips for keeping kids focused and engaged. You can also organize a virtual activity or study group, which has the added bonus of providing social interaction for your child. Collaborating with other parents may help you feel less isolated as well.
Connect with your child's teacher
Remember, they're also getting through this by trial and error. Be honest about what is working and what isn't. Your child's teacher has a good understanding of their academic strengths and weaknesses, so they may be able to help you come up with a more individualized learning plan.
Find out what your child already knows
You can approach the discussion by asking what your child has heard. This will allow you to address any misconceptions.
Get creative with lessons
Doing a science experiment, for example, or cooking with measurements, can be a good way of bringing lessons to life. And consider your child's strengths. If they love to draw and write, now is a good time to set them free with pencils and paper.
Make time to laugh
There's certainly a lot of fear and heartbreak in the world right now, but there are also still chances to share a laugh and enjoy some lighthearted relief. Try to create opportunities for fun with your family.
Easing your kids' anxiety about coronavirus
While some kids are content to read or play video games rather than focus on the situation in the world right now, others may have questions. Your kids might have expressed fears about the pandemic, or shown a change in behavior, like being unable to sleep at night.
Keep lines of communication open
To keep fear from building up, let your kids know that you'll keep them updated as you learn more information. You can also use this as a teaching opportunity, explaining how their immune system fights disease.
Empathise with their frustrations
As well as all the other frustrations of lockdown, older kids may also be missing important school events such as exams, dances, and graduations. Validate their feelings and listen without trying to convince them that they'll be fine or reminding them that others have it worse. Encourage your kids to be creative with how they interact with their friends.
Let them set their own schedule
Give them choices whenever possible and let them know you're available to help keep them on track and plan breaks if they need it. Giving your teenagers autonomy also means holding them responsible for certain chores, such as helping with cooking and cleaning.