If there was anything about being a parent that nobody warned us about, it is how to do it right and do it well during a global pandemic. We are living in one of the most unprecedented times in history and the task of coping with this "new normal" has never been bigger and more difficult for any parent.
For a lot of families, we've all turned our homes as the place for family, work, and school — all at once. At a time when so many things are uncertain, we can't seem to catch a break in our own space. There is no manual on how to navigate through life and through these recent and sudden changes, but we are here to hopefully help you by giving you some advice on parenting in time of corona virus.
You don't have to be perfect.
While we all know this to be true, as parents we can be very hard on ourselves. It's not easy to suddenly adjust to a world that is rapidly changing, not to mention the barrage of terrible news we see on a daily basis. You are stressed and exhausted and anxious, it's okay to feel that.
Take care of yourselves.
Set boundaries, if you have to. Take a few minutes or even an hour of your day to just breathe: be it getting a longer shower time, meditating, working out, or just taking a nap. You don't have to keep on following your kids around the house and to clean up after them round the clock. Set those toys aside and clean them up after a few hours. Let yourself breathe every once in a while — again, like what we said, you don't have to be perfect.
It's okay to not be creative all the time.
We've been stuck at home for God knows how long already. It is perfectly understandable when you can't keep up on finding new ways to entertain your kids at home. It's okay. It's impossible to do this all the time. The only way that you and your kids can adjust together is to live through each day as you would without creating a daily program of engaging activities. Sometimes, just watching TV together or just doing basic household chores are enough.
Don't be afraid to explain to your kids what is happening around them.
Kids can feel and absorb when we're stressed or anxious. One of the important things that we can do right now as parents is to make sure we're also allowing our kids to have this conversation with us. We don't have to open the topic and explain more than necessary but when they ask, respond truthfully. The last thing that we should do is to ignore their curiosity and concerns or worse, deny them the truth by telling them that everything is good and absolutely normal. Let them share their fears with us while we reassure them that we are here with them.
Don't just keep it to yourself.
Learn how to let it out every once in a while and seek help when you can. Everyone's probably at the edge of their seats all the time and what helps us process these things is when we share these fears and worries with other people. You are not alone in this. Talk to family and friends. It's just as important to take care of your mental, emotional, and spiritual health. There is no shame in seeking help, speak to a professional if you have to.