Pandemic parenting got you feeling blue?

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THE STAR – Being a parent is a full-time job.

Managing schedules, organizing fun activities, creating learning opportunities and making sure the kids are fed are just the tip of the parental iceberg.

With the uncertainties of the future and the pandemic resulting in many health concerns, most parents are finding themselves facing new and often, very stressful, family situations.

When the stress and strain is left unchecked for too long, it can eventually lead to burnout and perhaps even worsen the situation at home.

Whether you’re already a parent or are planning to be one soon, here are some parenting tips to help you cope and navigate pandemic-parenting:

BURN OUT

When the quality of our work, the tidiness of our homes or the meals we’re cooking for our family seem to be missing the mark, it’s easy to feel like we’re letting our family down.

Especially when our friends seem to be having everything in order, it makes us feel even worse.

But hey, let’s not forget that we’re in the middle of a global emergency health crisis and we’re not alone. Be kind to yourself.

Sometimes when you’re feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, it’s good to take a breather by doing the following:

– Taking a walk to clear your mind, even if it’s just within your house compound.

– Calling up your closest friend and ranting about everything that went wrong.

– Ordering your favorite dessert and not sharing it with your kids or your spouse.

Remember, you’ve given your best and you deserve this break so you can continue being the amazing parent you are.

BEING THE HOMESCHOOL TEACHER

To some of us, this may be the biggest stressor of all. Besides staying on top of things for your own job, you’ve now also got to make sure your kids are attending all their classes, completing their homework, and staying on track.

However, it’s important to remember that this is a stressful time for kids as well.

For older kids who had attended school in person pre-pandemic, academic regression or behavioral changes are bound to occur due to the abrupt change in their learning environment coupled with environmental uncertainties.

Some ways to help your kids cope better with school could be to:

– Collaborate with other parents to organize virtual learning activities or study groups in new and creative ways.

– Communicate with your child’s teacher to better understand their academic strengths and weaknesses, as well as learning type.

– Set a schedule so you and your child will be able to plan a suitable routine for them to study without sacrificing play time.

– Create goals with rewards to give your child something to work towards and give them a sense of accomplishment.

DEALING WITH AN ANXIOUS CHILD

Children tend to perceive and understand more than we notice. Some stressors could include:

– Overhearing an adult conversation or watching the news about the pandemic.

– Having their regular school routines interrupted.

– Having their entire routine changed to fit within the safety confines of the pandemic.

If you’ve noticed a change in your child’s behavior (be it acting out or being more rejected), it’s important to make it a priority to address your child’s fears and reassure them of their physical and emotional well-being.

Here are some tips on dealing with an anxious child:

– Speak with them at an age-appropriate level. For young kids, providing simple and direct answers would do. But if your child is older, you could help them find accurate information on the pandemic from credible sources to aid their understanding.

– Listen and be understanding so your child will feel that their home is a safe space for them to express their distress.

– Designate special one-on-one time to create an opportunity for you to bond with them over an activity of their choice.

– Arrange virtual playdates with their best friends or family members to give them the opportunity to socialize with other kids from a safe distance.

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