Loading...

Tools to Handle the Challenges of Parenting During Pandemic

April 7, 2020 by Kate Michael

Schools and activities are closed, parents are trying to work from home, and everyone feels cooped up and a little crazy. Parenting during a pandemic puts additional stress on a family, but there are strategies that can help you to get through it and even experience some joy during this time. 

Positive Parenting Solutions’ Founder Amy McCready has spent years offering proven strategies to make the energy in your home more positive and fun and help your family feel more connected. Now she shares three concrete strategies to minimize the chaos and maximize the connection with your children.

“How well your children adapt [to life during the pandemic] is really going to depend on how you react to this change and on the energy that you’re putting out there,” says McCready, adding that whether your demeanor is one of calm and in control or one of fear and uncertainty, your kids will mirror it. 

“Act like the ‘movie version’ of yourself, even if you have to fake it a little bit, because they are going to absorb [your feelings] and you’re going to see it in their behavior.”

McCready’s first tip is to dedicate what she calls “mind, body, and soul time,” to each child. 

“Kids need attention and emotional connection, but when life gets crazy and their attention needs don’t get filled, they don’t communicate it; they present it in behaviors that we find frustrating, like being clingy or fighting with siblings.” 

Misbehavior is not random, and according to McCready’s coaching, it can be tamed with 10 or 15 minutes of fully present scheduled individual time with each child, doing what the child wants to do. 

“Mind, body, and soul time is an investment in good behavior and cooperative attitude.”

Her second strategy focuses on routines, which she insists are essential, even as things seem to be changing daily around us. “The more we can keep things the same, the less anxious your kids will be, and the more their behavior and their emotions are going to stay in check.” 

Get your children dressed each day, she says. Keep bedtimes the same as normal schooldays, though letting kids sleep later in the mornings isn’t a bad idea. And start the day’s activities at a set time, even if it is later than on a morning when they would be getting on the bus and heading off to school. 

“My silver bullet tool for structuring schedules is the when/then routine,” says McCready. 

“The yucky stuff comes before the more fun parts. So as you are scheduling your day — including that necessary mind, body, and soul time — make sure that, for example, the math homework gets done before outside movement. Or, another example, ‘When you’ve completed your family contributions, then you can enjoy family time.’”

She further suggests using a visual timer in lieu of a countdown timer so that children can process the passing of time and understand that if they finish their more burdensome work, they can get to the pleasurable tasks faster. 

The last of McCready’s essential tips is to really lean in to family meetings as they can help with family problem-solving, connecting as a family, and building skills like teamwork, leadership, empathy, negotiation, and cooperation. Family meetings can also help with scheduling, meal planning, and determining family contributions (McCready’s alternative term for chores). 

“You never get buy-in without weigh-in,” she says. “Simple family meetings at least once a week allow us to talk through problems that came up that week and bring your kids into the decision-making process. By creating a decision-rich environment, you offer power and control — at a time when everything feels totally out of control — in positive ways. And the more everyone participates in decisions that affect their lives, the more cooperative they’ll be in following through.” 

McCready says that, believe it or not, there are silver linings to the pandemic experience. Spending time with family is a major one. Proving our resilience is another. 

“Resilience is one of the most important skills that we know our children are going to need to be successful, functioning adults. This is an amazing time to model that resilience for our children. What we do day-in and day-out will really show how we manage adversity, handle change, and work through uncertainty.”

Mental Health

October 27, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
How Horror Films Help Individuals Cope With Scary Situations

WASHINGTON — A study funded by the Research Program for Media, Communication, and Society at the School of Communication and... Read More

WASHINGTON — A study funded by the Research Program for Media, Communication, and Society at the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University in Denmark reveals how watching horror films may have helped individuals cope and prepare for the psychological distress of the COVID-19 pandemic.... Read More

October 27, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
Letter Urges Passage of National Paid Leave to Combat Drug Addiction

WASHINGTON — When Khrista Messinger, a 46-year-old who works for the City of Charleston, W.Va., requested time off from work... Read More

WASHINGTON — When Khrista Messinger, a 46-year-old who works for the City of Charleston, W.Va., requested time off from work to seek treatment for her substance abuse addiction she was told by her employer that she needed to use her sick leave and vacation time. “I’ve... Read More

October 20, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
Middle-Aged Women at Higher Risk of ‘Broken Heart’ Syndrome

LOS ANGELES - A new study from researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center appears to confirm what many have long argued:... Read More

LOS ANGELES - A new study from researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center appears to confirm what many have long argued: That a “broken heart” really can lead to long-term heart injury. “We know from other studies the heart-brain connection is very strong, but this is one... Read More

October 15, 2021
by Reece Nations
Texas Removes LGBTQ Youth Suicide Hotline After Primary Challenger Goads Abbott

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has taken down a webpage that offered resources to... Read More

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has taken down a webpage that offered resources to LGBTQ youth after criticism was leveled at Gov. Greg Abbott by a primary challenger for its inclusion. Former Texas state Sen. Don Huffines, who announced his... Read More

October 7, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
Eating Within Consistent 10-Hour Window Reduces Risk of Chronic Diseases

Researchers from the UC San Diego School of Medicine and Salk Institute conducted a review of time-restricted eating that shows... Read More

Researchers from the UC San Diego School of Medicine and Salk Institute conducted a review of time-restricted eating that shows eating within an 8-10-hour window can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.  “Just like to be productive we plan our... Read More

October 6, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
Mental Health Practices Are Changing in Work Places

A new report from Mind Share Partners, a non-profit changing the culture of workplace mental health, finds that there has... Read More

A new report from Mind Share Partners, a non-profit changing the culture of workplace mental health, finds that there has been an increase in employees leaving jobs for mental health reasons, and companies are taking new steps to address employee's mental health. As a follow-up to... Read More

News From The Well
Exit mobile version