Now is the perfect time for parents to look back on what the current pandemic has taught them, and how they can teach these lessons to their children. As more and more families begin to leave their homes again, it’s essential to look back and reflect on both the bad and good moments that have happened out of the recent crisis. Whether you’re still quarantining with your loved ones, or you’re beginning to venture out on a more regular basis, consider the advice below on what parents can learn from their COVID-19 experiences.
The Importance of an Emergency Fund
It’s no secret that when you become a parent, money is a little bit tighter. As your family grows and expenses increase, prioritizing an emergency fund can easily get placed on the back burner. If your family was one of the many households who took a serious financial hit due to the pandemic, you may be realizing now that having some cash set aside already would have been a game-changer. Moving forward, try to make a plan for yourself or with your partner to devote even a small amount of extra cash to an emergency savings account. You won’t regret it in the future should something like this pandemic ever happen again.
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Apart from learning the value of an emergency fund, most parents find it essential to take a hard look at their finances on the whole. If you have struggled financially through the pandemic, it might be a good time to sign up for any free online financial wellness programs you can find, in order to get a better handle on your payments. Take advantage of any forbearance programs being offered and track your stimulus check should you have yet to receive it. If you’re stressed about your current debt and how it affects your credit score moving forward, be sure to read up on the support options you have and create a plan of action for when your finances become stable again.
Remember that even though your bank account may have taken a hit during this time, there are still ways for you to reach your financial goals. From planning the purchase of your first home as a family to finally being able to tackle your credit card debt, these aspirations are still attainable; they just may have to be postponed. Parents can use this time as a learning experience to set themselves up for success as things begin to return to normal.
For those who do want to become homebuyers post-pandemic, do your research on loan options that can make this possible. Many families find that realistic FHA loan requirements work best and are most achievable when trying to purchase their first home, though there are plenty of other options as well. Whatever your financial goals may be for your family, empower yourself with the knowledge to come out of this pandemic stronger financially than you were before.
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How to Teach and Practice Calm
Dealing with an unexpected pandemic like COVID-19 has caused overwhelming stress and anxiety for thousands of individuals. For many parents, there has been a fear of contracting the virus, followed by financial stress, which has resulted in a significant amount of panic and worry. However, there has also been an increase in the resources for parents to use in order to manage this stress. From connecting with online support groups to utilizing telemedicine apps, the options are endless.
Though there may have been days where anxiety has felt crippling, it’s essential to use these times as teachable moments. Even young children can sense when their parents are stressed, and if your child is old enough to understand this, try having a conversation with them about why taking time for oneself is a good practice. Be sure to ask your child how they have been feeling being outside of their normal routine and school. If they are having difficulties, contact your school counselor to see if you can set up a meeting. Practicing calm and finding ways that help you and your children relax is crucial for navigating uncertain times, both now and in the future.
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Nothing teaches time management better than having to navigate both child care and working from home. Many parents have had to deal with taking care of their children while also taking client calls for the past few months. As you look back on how you have been able to do both, take some time to reflect on what has worked well and what has made things difficult. Whether you called on family members or your partner for help, or you spaced out your office hours in order to keep an eye on the kids, it’s safe to assume some methods were better than others. Beyond this, be sure to congratulate yourself on the way you’ve managed your time. Parenting is a full-time job that you’ve likely been doing on top of your actual full-time job, and celebrating yourself every now and then for your hard work is important.
The Power of Family Time
Lastly, parents should recognize the power of family time as they begin to ease back into normal life. Though living for so long in close quarters with no break was probably a challenge, most families will come out of this time stronger than before. Be sure to appreciate the moments you’ve had with your little ones and your partner. This pandemic has been a difficult time that you have all experienced and worked through together.
While the future remains uncertain, continue to reflect on what has worked well for you and your kids during quarantine, and what has made things more difficult. Put the proper plans in place to learn from your experiences so that your family unit can thrive moving forward.
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