Pandemic parenting is hard. Really, really hard. It’s difficult for parents with kids of all ages. We have had to give up control in some areas, while being thrust the control over other things. I’m here to tell you that we can do hard things. We got this.
The impact of COVID-19 on parents around the world has been stark. Many students have traded classrooms for Zoom rooms. Teachers are having to teach kids in person as well as those on screens, simultaneously. Parents are struggling with how to adapt to a completely new way of parenting our kids, who suddenly are hanging around a lot more.
The reality is that the pandemic has changed life completely. We now know that we are not “getting back to normal” within the next year. We have to buck up and admit that this pandemic parenting thing we’ve been doing is something we have to get comfortable with. We have to learn how to thrive through this time. Check out these tips to help you and your kids do just that.
5 Tips to Thrive During Pandemic Parenting
1. Get involved in some creative projects.
With all the screen time we are getting, take some time away from technology and flex your creative muscles. Maybe that means putting together a 3D puzzle, creating some new art pieces, or gettin out in the backyard and building a treehouse. You can do these things with your kids or alone. Turn off the tech and see what you can do just for fun.
2. Learn a new hobby.
When so many things are cancelled, why not use this time to try something new? You can learn anything on Youtube these days! Hip hop aerobics? Pottery 101? Learning Italian? Playing guitar? You can do it now. This is the perfect opportunity for you and your family to stay sharp through these days of pandemic parenting.
3. Go outside.
It is basic, yes, but fresh air and sunshine are crucial for your mental health. Get outside to reinvigorate yourself and escape the monotony of the 24/7 pandemic parenting. Studies have shown that physical activity can help memory recall and increase mental dexterity. Go for a walk. Garden. Throw a ball around with your kids. Just get outside!
4. Enroll in an online class.
Did you know online classes are not just for kids? Now is the time to look for specialized programs designed to keep you learning with personalized instruction. You can work towards a degree or certificate. You can also just learn for fun. What makes you excited? Focus on that!
5. Encourage curiosity.
Whether you have a naturally curious family or one that needs some coaxing, now is the time to focus on curiosity. Pandemic parenting means that it might be up to you to make your kids inquisitive. One way to do this is to read more books about a variety of subjects and be OK with your kids asking questions, lots of questions.
You can also use an online service, like Brainly or Scholastic Learn at Home, where kids can ask questions, learn new things, and keep stimulated. For anyone who is feeling overwhelmed with all this pandemic parenting, know that you are not alone. Take care of yourself as best as you can. Give yourself, and others around you, grace. Be kind. And know that we can not just survive, but we can thrive, even in uncertain times.