Quarantines and being holed up at home—parents are facing the usual parenting struggles and more! You might be working from home and also homeschooling your children. Or perhaps they’ve gone back to school and are more anxious than ever before. Is it possible to have peace, even amidst the chaos of a pandemic? Yes! Here are some tips to help you.
- Establish Daily Routines.
Wake up, shower, and get dressed at the same time you’d normally get up. Teach your kids to develop a morning and evening routine. Kids need to go outside to exercise daily and socialize with other kids, even if it’s online or over the phone. Also, have your kids go to bed at a decent time. Make sleep a priority for yourself, too. Getting adequate rest is a must for staying healthy.
- Be Fully Present.
Connect with your child—tell them you love them, and show affection. Ask thought-provoking questions to encourage them to talk. Try to spend uninterrupted, quality time with them each day by engaging in their favorite activities. Whether we can’t take our eyes off of the news or have unhealthy habits, many things can keep us from being fully present.
- Take Care of Yourself.
As a parent, you put a lot of your energy into caring for your children. But self-care is not selfish, rather it is preparation for doing life well. Manage stress through regular exercise, eating healthy, meditating on Scripture, check-in with your spouse or a friend; and, if possible, hire a reliable babysitter for a few hours each week. It’s difficult to parent when you are not feeling your best.
- Address Your Child’s Fears.
Your children look to you for their emotional and mental well-being. Use questions to help them deal with difficult emotions. For example, you can calmly say, “I see you are sad that you can’t visitgrandma in the nursing home. What can we do for her to let her know we love her?” Also, limit the amount of news you watch as well as focusing too much on the pandemic.
- Stay Calm.
There will be times when your child rebels, becomes disrespectful, and won’t obey. Whatever you do, remain calm and don’t lose control. Some of their behavior is a reaction to the changes in their reality. It is important to address the issue, but you might need some time and space when they are able to hear what needs to change. Teach them how to handle big emotions through taking a time out and taking a breath. Then remind them of the importance of following directions and being respectful of one another.
- Connect on a Spiritual Level.
Teaching your children about God seems intimidating. But it’s easier than you think. Start by saying a simple prayer before meals and bedtime. Read a Bible story or verse a day. Ask them about their thoughts and feelings, and listen. Remind them of how much God loves them and cares for them and has a plan for their lives.
If you are struggling with parenting in a pandemic, please know you are not alone. We are here to help you find peace! Call 800-NEW-LIFE. We can help you find a licensed counselor in your area who does teletherapy and works with parents!