Parenting is a 24/7 job. It is very rewarding, but by no means easy. With the COVID-19 situation, the schools are closed, and many parents now work from home. That means we now enjoy our kids’ company 24 hours a day!! *cough* For some this is one of the biggest parenting challenges they have faced as a parent to date.
There is much uncertainty about when things would go back to “normal”. This potent combination of circumstances is proving to be daunting for most of us. Keep calm and read through how to get through some of the parenting challenges that Coronavirus has created.
Here are some ideas to restore sanity and order during “coronavirus season“…
COVID-19 essentially took nannies and caregivers out of the parenting equation. Kids now have more time on their hands, and less supervision. Parents on the other hand have less time. Working from home means that we have more ownership for tasks. There are also fewer things we can delegate. One of the best ways to manage the kids is to establish a healthy routine for them. Designating times to wake up and go to bed is a great start. Make space in the kids’ routines for schoolwork, play time, and fun. Define meal times. Most importantly establish when and how the kids can spend time with you. One tried and tested approach is to write the schedule down and display it in a prominent place, such as on the refrigerator.
Having a routine helps streamline things and introduce many useful habits. For example, kids would get habituated to washing hands before meals, stowing the toys after playtime, and brushing teeth and hair before bed. You can take this a step further by defining specific activities for each day of the week. Adherence to rules helps inculcate vital discipline. It will let you make the most of your time as a parent and as an employee. Following a routine will also make it easier for everyone when school finally reopens. That’s a whole other realm of parenting challenges we have yet to face!
Social distancing took away the time we spend with family and friends. As a parent we now face one of the weirdest parenting challenges of our day and that’s having to play several roles for our kids, including friend, teacher, mentor, playmate, and so on. It is important to understand the need for communication. Just because the world seems to be on a pause does not mean the kids’ development is too. We must learn to listen to what our kids have to say.
This is a time to be supportive and to allow the kids to share their opinions. It is an opportunity to share information, build important values, give advice, and check perceptions. Most importantly it is a chance to create lasting bonds. Kids ask many questions, and we cannot have all the answers, yet another one of those big parenting challenges we face. For our kids to trust us, it is important to be truthful. Parents should humbly admit when they do not know something. Take the time to learn something new with the kids. Also, be mindful of the age group and needs of the children when communicating with them.
Finding time for quality time can be one of the biggest parenting challenges. Being in the same house as our kids is not necessarily the same as spending quality time with them. To make it really count we must plan and schedule activities that both kids and parents want to do. Watching a movie together, playing board games, and reading them stories before bedtime are some ideas. The defining feature of quality time is that kids and parents have each others’ undivided attention. Such activities are opportunities for parents to understand the children better. At the same time they make the kids feel loved and secure.
Every day we tackle a multitude of parenting challenges that life throws at us. This can be tiring. We must make time for ourselves to recharge. The most important component of a daily recharge is to get 8 or more hours of uninterrupted sleep. This can be complemented with some great ways to get the energy flowing, such as a daily workout, jog, yoga, aerobics, stretching, and so on. The importance of a rejuvenating activity in the routine cannot be overstressed. To be physically active is as important as to send money online to pay the bills. We must find suitable activities to recharge the mind and body.
Prayer works for many of us! While praying we can be more cognizant of our state of mind. This allows us to take note of whether our thoughts are positive and happy. Before going to bed we can reflect on the activities of the day, and how the kids are responding to the situation. Some time spent alone daily praying can be really helpful. Articulating things in offering to God helps us take charge of our lives and be much more effective as parents, regardless of the circumstances around us.
All things considered, we know that keeping your family safe from coronavirus is your top priority!
About the author: Hemant G is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.