During a pandemic, many parents have made their home a classroom, office, and even gym. Many parents face a big challenge to keep their eyes on their children and oversee schooling, grocery shop, their work, and all other daily chores. Children, at the same time, might be reacting to stress by regressing to behaviors long outgrown.
TIPS ON HOW PARENTS CAN COPE DURING PANDEMIC
- Acknowledge what you feel
Being anxious, fearful, and stressed at this time is normal. Share your experiences with your friends and relatives, or share a laugh. If you continue to feel anxious, fearful, stressed, and can’t manage it, try to seek a health professional. It’s not a shame to seek support. Everyone is facing such a big challenge right now.
- Set boundaries
Boundaries can be useless when home life and work from home happens at the same time. It may be difficult to handle and get things done. You can designate a small area or a specific room to work and an area for homework and schoolwork. You can also designate a space for your work and the home workspace for your children with you. It can be a big help to teach and show your children how to work productively. Try to have a timer and spend even 15 minutes doing something fun with your children. In that way, they are less likely to interrupt you while you’re working. Thank you also for your children for letting you do your work.
- Create a routine
It’s unrealistic to think that you and your children will put in normal hours during this stressful time. It’s important to have a routine even if children are staying or getting up later than usual. Having a routine makes a family member more resilient and copes with stress. You can post a written schedule of your children’s expected time to get up, eat meals, schoolwork, play, and bedtime. You can also add your time in doing your work.
- Relax screen time rules
It’s okay to let them have more screen time than usual. You can let them watch their favorite movie and play video games while you are finishing your tasks. You can help your children stay connected with their friends via video calls or multi-player video games. Don’t completely forego the rules. Younger children can use a tablet or a computer in common spaces to monitor their content rather than in their rooms. Parents should also talk with their teens about appropriate content and screen time limitations.
- Share responsibilities
If you have your caregiver or another parent is present in your home, negotiate child-care shifts. You can ask for help beyond your home too. Ask them to video-chat with your child while you’re making an important work call or project that needs full concentration.
You and your family need alone time each day. Take a walk and enjoy long showers. If you can’t go out yet, put in your earphones and practice meditation using your phone. During this stressful time, it is essential to go easy on yourself and your children.