A Guide to Effective Parenting during the Pandemic

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CoVid — 19 has disrupted everyone’s lives. The pandemic has affected our everyday routine. It’s a lot to handle, especially for parents as they have additional responsibilities for kids too. It can be baffling for parents to balance work, personal life, and children simultaneously. Positive parenting habits can make a lot of difference. Consider the points listed below and see how they work their magic and make your child’s life and your life much easier.

Converse with your child about the pandemic

Have a dialogue about what the kids know, confusions they might have, anything that they don’t understand, or have questions regarding the ongoing situation of the pandemic. Regulate the information in simple words accordingly to the age of your kid so they can process it without getting confused. You are the closest to your child, reassure your kids, have an open and honest discussion. Create a safe space and let them open up about how they feel about the sudden change in life. They can be equally stressed and overwhelmed with this situation and might not understand how to deal with it. They will feel safe with positive reinforcement from your end and know that you are there for their safety and security.

Spend quality time with kids

Utilize this time that you get with your children to improve your parental bond and make it better. Parents and children might be home all day doing their mundane chores which do not count as quality time. Set aside a specific timeframe to be only with your kids. Keep your phone off and work at bay in this timeframe. Give your kid your undivided attention. You can ask them what they would like to do or you can choose a fun activity to do together. Your children will feel loved and realize that they are an important part of your life.

Keep a positive outlook

Children will follow in your order as you are a direct influence on them. Your stress and anxiety will reflect in them acting out. A peaceful and happy environment will make the kids feel secure and loved. The mental health of parents is what drives the emotional well-being of their children.

Get a routine and follow the structure

Regular routines have been affected due to the pandemic. It’s easy to get disheveled in this situation. Psychologically consistency makes you feel safe and comforting. During these uncertain times, consistent routines create a sense of order as per individual needs. It’s always handy to have a proper sleep cycle that keeps kids from being cranky and well-behaved naturally. The structure is something that will ease the minds of kids without them even knowing it.

Engaging activities to keep children busy

“ An empty mind is a devil’s home “ is pretty self-explanatory. You can go ahead and utilize this time to get your children into a hobby that they like or some skills that they want to polish. Dancing, musical instrument, origami, cooking, online quizzes, Sudoku, etc. You can engage in activities together as a family too or even give them the responsibility of small house chores that they can do to keep them engaged.

Pay attention to online safety

Kids are spending more time online than prior due to being stuck at home. It has a positive side of keeping them connected to friends and family. But the risks that it poses are also very high. Harmful content, cyberbullying, adults targeting kids on social media is not unheard of, make efforts to put measures in place; set up parental control, safe search options, strict privacy settings. Talk to your child about safe online practices and that they can share any problems that they might face online with you.

Positive discipline and no physical punishment

This is valid not just for pandemic but in general as well. Physical punishment should be a strict no. Parents and children are spending more time together than prior and kids can drive parents crazy with bad behavior & misbehaving. Spend your energy on positive reinforcement instead of negative. Generally, point out good behavior and appreciate them so they know what is expected out of them. When they showcase bad behavior, try to react calmly and let them know what behavior is acceptable, in a firm but kind way. Communication is the key here. It helps them to learn how to make better choices.

Take care of yourself first

There is some meaning in the saying, “take care of yourself first before taking care of others” You cannot help others if you are not taken care of “ practicing self-care doesn’t mean being selfish. And self-care doesn’t refer to just physical health but also emotional, mental, and spiritual health. By rejuvenating through self-care, you not only support yourself but also foster the energy to support others. To put your best version out there for your family, you will have to take care of yourself first.

You must already be practicing a few of these pointers unknowingly. But remember, our children need a constant idol of emotional support and, parents are their first go-to person and, that is how it should be. It is your responsibility to keep an eye out for any issue your child could be facing and trying to mitigate it wisely. Positive parenting leads to a positive developmental outcome in children. Be it pandemic or otherwise.

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