Parenting during Coronavirus is new for all of us! It’s important to remember that we’re all in this together. Check out these tips for how to keep your family safe!
With COVID-19 sweeping the U.S. at a ludicrous pace, rules for self-distancing, shuttering of bars, closing schools, and cancellation of events are coming in fast from different states and cities. As it stands, staying at home is the best way to prevent overloading healthcare systems and public places. Everyone has taken a deep dive into a new world of hand-washing and personal sanitizers. Everything seems extremely complicated — especially for parents.
As a parent, a variety of emotions such as anger, confusion, anxiety, and fear are probably creeping in right now. Additionally, your kids are out of school and you are probably working from home. On top of that, it’s your responsibility to keep yourself and your kids safe. It’s a sticky situation! If you’re wondering how to handle your parenting during Coronavirus, here’s a rundown of tips to keep your family safe and healthy.
Tips for Parenting During Coronavirus:
Acknowledge the Fears
The unknown level of risk out there is scary to both parents and kids. However, you need to control your emotions and let your kids know that everything will fall into place. Help kids express their feelings and address their concerns. You might want to keep track of your child’s feelings daily.
Let your child know that sadness, anger, and fear are normal. Address the issue by explaining how such feelings come and go, based on what happens each day. Then teach them stress-reduction practices such as meditation, listening to music, and exercise. This can be as beneficial for them as it is for you!
Keep Kids Entertained
Banning screen time may not be the solution right now. Rather, you can set everything up in a way that your kids won’t get entirely sucked in. Collaborate with your kids to come up with the best practices of using technology during this unusual period. Do you need to download new games for them? Learn new skills on YouTube? Brainstorming will help generate interesting ideas that will keep your kids engaged throughout.
What happens to social media? You may want to allow kids to connect with their close friends through Facebook and Instagram, among other social media platforms. Allocate time for that, but be sure to set some ground rules.
Remember, school work should not stop. Just because it feels like an extended vacation doesn’t mean that learning shouldn’t be prioritized. Find educational games, apps, and games for you to partake in together. Podcasts for kids are also great ideas.
Consider Protective Measures
Hand-washing is not an option right now; it’s a requirement. Make sure your kids understand the importance of using sanitizers and washing hands with soap. You’ll need to show them how to wash hands properly. Do they know that hand-washing should take at least 20 seconds? Remind them to wash before eating, after blowing their nose, or after sneezing or coughing.
Let them know that nose-picking is not acceptable. It won’t hurt to you remind them to cough into the elbow, either. Apply hand lotion frequently to keep the skin unbroken; it’ll help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Another idea is laundering things like reusable shopping bags, shoes, backpacks, and coats. For house cleaning, use diluted bleach solutions or EPA-registered household disinfectants.
Control Your Anger
You’re probably upset that the government didn’t take strict measures to protect people when coronavirus first emerged weeks ago. As parents, you have to filter what your kids hear. Avoid discussing your frustrations with other adults.
You may be running out of cash and wondering how you will survive the coming weeks. Talk to your kids in a calm voice and choose your words wisely. It’s important to realize that they likely absorb more than you know.
Talk to Your Kids
Keep it fact-based, age-appropriate, and straightforward. Lying to your child by telling them that kids can’t get COVID-19 is wrong. Instead, the CDC advises parents to tell their kids that coronavirus is not a serious problem for kids because they have a strong immune system. Assure your kids you know how to handle COVID-19 and let them know that if they do get sick, that they make a full recovery. It’s also important to stress that it’s not just about kids getting sick; older folks and people with weaker immune systems have a much higher risk. If they wonder why it’s not safe to visit with their grandparents or to see a friend with a history of health problems, let them know that this is actually the best way to show that they care.
Finalize Custody Arrangements
Between 40% and 50% of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. Dealing with custody arrangements and visitation can be quite frustrating during this pandemic crisis. Who decides? Many parents are facing this issue.
It’s a tricky situation when one parent is advised to self-quarantine with kids, but the other feels left out. Although you want your partner to spend time with your kids, safety comes first. It calls for understanding from both parties to make things work.
Custodial law is difficult to understand; thankfully, your attorney can help. Typically, custody orders identify particular days when each parent is entitled to spend time with their children. But during a pandemic, such rules won’t always apply.
During a crisis, parents are advised to amicably decide the best for their kids. The government allows for exceptions. If a parent fails to comply, it could result in possible incarceration or imposition of fines.
Figure Out Remote Work
Are you in a situation where daycare, school, and work all happen under one roof? Since you did not expect it, it’ll be challenging at first. How first you adapt to the situation is all that matters. Schedule for the next day and make it a habit.
Block out time for other tasks and unnecessary meetings that require undivided attention with your kids. Alternating days to prioritize uninterrupted work time can also be beneficial. You’ll need to learn to put your energy into what matters most at any moment and let go of petty things. If you can, allocate some duties to your kids to keep them busy.
Switch Off the News
As a parent, it’s essential to keep up-to-date with everything going on in the world. However, your kids don’t need all that information. It creates anxiety. Do not expose your kids to constant news coverage. Use your tablet to read the news and don’t leave stories open for your kids to access. Regulate how much you watch the news because it will impact the level of your kids’ anxiety.
The bottom line is that coronavirus will pass. Although things are rough today, your kids need to stay safe. In the meantime, practice these tips. If you feel overwhelmed with parenting during Coronavirus, remember that you are not alone. It’s a global crisis, and everyone is doing it. Hang in there — and stay safe and healthy.
What are your tips for parenting during Coronavirus? Share below!