The COVID-19 pandemic has affected families all around the world. Schools and various establishments remain closed, everyone’s staying at home, and the once crowded cities are now empty streets. As parents, you want to assure your family the safety and warmth they need right now. Your kids may not directly say it, but they may feel confused and also alarmed with the sudden changes in their lives.
It can be hard to navigate family life in the middle of a pandemic. Here are some parenting tips to help you and your family to cope with the new, hopefully temporarily, normal.
Build Stronger Relationships With Your Kids
With the free time that you have right now, it is the perfect opportunity to bring the family closer and build stronger ties. Give them one-on-one attention to make them feel secured and loved.
For young children, you can read stories together, play with their favorite toys, or help with their school work. For teenagers, you can chat with them about pop culture, cook meals, or exercise together. It’s your chance to make up for the lost time and get to know your kids on a deeper level.
Maintain A Positive Attitude
Staying at home means that you’re going to be with your kids 24/7. They may drive you crazy now as much as before, but you have to stay calm and positive. It’s crucial to maintain a positive attitude at this particular time, even when painful. Praising your kids when they did something right will likely encourage them to do it again. It will reassure them that you’re noticing their good acts and you care.
Use positive and respectful words when telling your kids what to do. Provide clear instructions and consequences for their actions. Level your expectations as well as what their abilities are. Don’t expect them to do their school work all day long without feeling bored and tired, they’re kids, and they need to play as well.
As much as you’re grappling with the hardships of the pandemic, your kids may get anxious when they know you’re worrying too. Avoid adding to the anxiousness of your kids, speak to them calmly and understandably. Help your kids to stay connected with their friends online. Communication in trying times like this can help with managing stress and anxiety.
When conflicts and tension arise while your family is in quarantine, encourage timeout and space for everyone to unwind and spend some time alone. Lead your family in establishing boundaries and leveling each other’s expectations. Leon Hoffman, M.D., says, “During times of stress, anger and irritability are common emotions in everyone.” You have to understand that there will be frustrations, but as family, you have to solve issues together. Most importantly, right now, when the world is experiencing a crisis.
Due to your children’s incapacity to leave the house, they may display troublesome behavior. It’s relatively healthy since the normalcy in their lives was disrupted. As parents, comfort and discuss with them their emotions and struggles.
Create a schedule and chores so that everyone will take part and ownership of the responsibility at home. This process can also ensure every member of the family working and bonding together. Parents should remain calm and avoid conflicts as well, as their children are looking upon them for guidance in times of uncertainties like this. Children model their behavior to their parents.
Juggling Work At Home
If you’re working from home, it can be hard to keep your children busy and meet work requirements at the same time. If it’s possible, address your challenges to your employer and ask for flexibility. Most notably, if you have younger kids, they may need more attention and time with you.
Share the workload with your partner. Since there are no schools, divide the responsibility of homeschooling to your children. Introduce new activities to your kids to keep them occupied, such as gardening or painting. Maintain a suitable workspace at home, and don’t forget to take care of yourself as well. Your family needs you to be strong and healthy right now.
Create A Routine Schedule
To make children feel secured and better behaved, create an organized but flexible schedule that they can follow. Assemble a consistent daily routine like fun activities and school timetables. In this way, they can look forward to doing something every day while at quarantine. It’s better to include exercise to stay healthy and manage stress while at home.
Silence and secrets do not protect children. They already know and feel that something is happening in your community. Answer their questions truthfully and be supportive of their feelings. Check your children if they’re okay and let them understand the COVID-19 pandemic.