Parenting Tips during COVID19
Updated: Jan 18, 2021
COVID -19 has meant families around the world are adapting to the multiple changes as a result of the pandemic. It is completely natural if you are feeling overwhelmed with balancing your priorities, particularly when you may be seperated from regular support networks.
Here are a few tips to help you cope better during this time:
1. One on One time
It is important to show your child that they are important and loved. This one on one time can be scheduled at a specific time every day to create a routine or whenever you have 20minutes (or longer) free. Try to select something fun to do. Even better if you can get your child to select the activity, as it helps build their self confidence and you can ensure it is something they will enjoy.
Babies/Toddlers - Make facial expressions, sounds, read a book, sing a song, show them pictures etc.
Young Children - Do chores together (make cooking/cleaning a game), Go for a walk, organize an indoor scavenger hunt,Dance/Sing to music etc.
Teenagers - Talk about something they like - sports, music, friends, movies, Exercise together, give them your undivided attention & have fun!
2. Keep it Positive
It may be difficult to resist the urge to say "Stop doing that!" especially when they are doing something wrong, but children respond much more to positive instructions and praise - try to focus on what they are doing right and encourage the same behaviour in the future.
Specify the behaviour you want to see and use positive words when telling your child what to do. Example: Rather than saying 'Don't make a mess!', you can say 'Please can you put your clothes away'
Be cautious of your tone - screaming and shouting at your child will only make them angry, tense and stressed too. Instead, you can grab their attention by using their name and try speak in a calm voice.
3. Create a routine
Since COVID has disrupted our daily work,home and school routines, it's important to create a new routine - make it flexible but be consistent.
There should be time for structured activities as well as free time/play. This will help keep your child occupied, secure and better behaved.
Try to include some sort of physical activity - this helps relieve stress and release their energy productively.
Try to incorporate learning about COVID19, Health & Safety precautions too - e.g. Create a song/routine for washing hands
4. Managing Bad Behaviour
All children misbehave but it is important to be emphathetic to their feelings as well given the current situation. Try the following:
Redirect - Whenever you sense your child is getting restless give them an activity so they are occupied. If they complete a task successfully, praise them accordingly.
Teach them consequences - Explain the consequence (calmly) and let your child decide their behaviour. Make the consequence something easy to enforce (e.g. No phone for a week is harder to enforce than no phone for an hour), if they listen to you - praise them, if not - you can enforce the consequence.
5. Take a Break
Remember you are not alone, so many people are feeling the same emotions (worry, panic, anger etc.) as you - reach out and speak to someone you trust.
Avoid spending too much time reading negative news.
Relax - make a list of activities you enjoy and ensure you dedicate time each day for yourself.
Listen to your child - your children will also be going through a range of feelings. It is important you listen to them, accept how they feel and give them comfort. They need to know you are always open to listen and will support them.
6. Talking about COVID19
Be willing to talk to your kids about COVID19. Only you know how much they will understand and how best to explain what is going on.
Remember these simple rules: Be Honest, Open, Supportive, Listen Attentively and End on a positive note.
7. Helping with online classes and school work
You now have the additional responsibility of being a homeschool teacher. Don't get overwhelmed and remember this will be difficult for your child too. A few steps that can help ease the transition are: Joining forces with other parents,connecting with your child's teacher(s),creating a routine for learning,set goals - and celebrate their completion, Get creative with lessons.
It’s normal for children to experience sleep problems during times of great stress. Some may have trouble falling asleep, others, may be anxious about being separated from their parents. Maintaining a consistent bedtime and regular nightly routine can help address these problems.
Make sure all screens are turned off at least one hour before bedtime as the blue light from these devices can interfere with your child’s sleep-wake cycle. Try reading to your child or listening to an audiobook together, instead.
Offer extra physical affection in the form of hugs and kisses at night if your child needs reassurance.
After you have put your kids to bed, it’s important as a parent that you take the time at night to unwind and relax yourself. Getting a good night’s sleep is just as important for you!
Disclaimer: The following information is not a suitable replacement for therapy or professional help. Mental health is very complex and there are various individual differences due to circumstances, genetics and life experience. All information published has been generalised and done in good faith. However, we will not be liable for any actions taken as a result of this website/post. If you are facing mental health concerns, it is important you reach out to a professional. You may also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further support.