While parents struggled to adjust to the pandemic earlier in the year, kids watched with uncertainty. The world fell out of balance and they couldn’t do anything about it. Being cooped up at home only made them more restless, which likely challenged your parenting skills.
Parenting in a pandemic has a steep learning curve, but you can use these tips to keep the calm at home. They’ll make things easier for everyone in the family, no matter how much longer this pandemic lasts.
Turn the News Off
Many people found themselves glued to their televisions or phones when news broke about COVID-19. Everyone wanted updates to learn more about the virus. It’s essential to stay up-to-date so you know how to protect yourself and your loved ones, but keeping the news on around the kids only increases household stress.
Turn the news off whenever you can. Silence your phone alerts and switch the TV to another channel. You can still read updates when they pop up on your phone. Your kids will feel less stressed and anxious when they’re not constantly surrounded by news they can’t understand.
Explain What You Can
Young children won’t grasp the detailed reports on vaccines and treatments, but you can mitigate their worries by explaining what you can. If they’re fearful or asking questions, talk about what’s going on. Recognize their feelings and discuss the basics about COVID-19, like how they should wash their hands and wear masks.
Acknowledging their emotions encourages them to work through how they feel and avoid internalizing their fear.
Stick to a Structure
Your old routine likely changed this year. Kids need structure to develop essential skills and habits, so form a new one that works for your whole family. Familiarity with morning and evening routines builds qualities such as:
- Impulse resistance
Include what your children do every day, like chores, exercising and virtual playdates. They should enjoy their routine as much as they learn from it.
Maintain a Clean Environment
Sanitation is one of the best ways to fight COVID-19. When kids aren’t at home, they need a virus-free environment. Schools have taken this to heart by implementing critical cleaning routines that decrease school absences by 57% through the prevention of illnesses like the flu as well as COVID-19.
Whether your kids go to a physical location for school or not, parents can maintain a clean environment at home by paying attention to cleaning guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and other public and medical community groups. Antibacterial wipes, sprays and even air purifiers protect your kids and make cleaning routines predictable.
Take Care of Yourself
You can’t take care of your family if you don’t prioritize your own needs too. Even during a pandemic, parents should engage in self-care habits to decompress and recharge.
Think about practicing self-care tips like:
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating three meals every day
- Reading new books
If you have a partner, discuss watching the kids in evening shifts so each of you can take a short time away for yourself.
Communicate With Your Family
It’s easy to shut down and get lost in your fears. Kids and adults do it, so communicate with your family to prevent it from happening. Talk about the realities of the pandemic in ways they can understand. Discuss their emotions and how to handle them. With time, you’ll find a new way to parent during the pandemic and keep the calm at home.
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Guides for Brides, Hotel Online and more! Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!
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