4 Tips for Parents Coping with COVID-19
As the COVID-19 situation continues to disrupt typical family life, parents may be facing a different set of challenges.
Whether your children are young and frightened about what’s going on, teenagers coping with the loss of what’s typically the season for prom and graduation, or even young adults out on their own but struggling with the practical realities of lockdown—parent-child bonds are central to moving through this period.
Try these ways of helping your kids thrive despite COVID-19.
Schedule one-on-one time
Ironically, as many of us spend most of our time homebound, parents may be checking in with each child’s emotional health less frequently. Remote work and school, increased news consumption, and other activities linked to our new status quo may mean that task-free, one-on-one facetime with children is falling by the wayside. Try to build in 20 minutes of daily conversation to listen to them and engage with their feelings.
Emphasize structure and routine
Especially as the school year winds down for younger kids, it’s essential to structure their time with productive activities and a sense of normalcy. Invite them to suggest daily and weekly activities they can do on their own or with you. The current circumstances are unusual, but their days can still feel regular.
Children take their emotional cues from parents. While this is a stressful and often disorienting period, do your best to remain calm and steady around kids. Acknowledging what’s going on in the world is healthy. But if anxiety is the predominant household emotion, children may feel less secure. Emphasize the things you can control to promote an atmosphere of safety.
Teenagers who may be feeling particularly stir-crazy these days present their own parenting challenge. They may be missing out on specific life events, separated from boyfriends and girlfriends, and going through ordinary emotional ups and downs that a lockdown only exacerbates. Respect their frustration. Empathize with their disappointment. Help them cope by encouraging healthy habits like meditation or exercising together.