Parenting can be difficult enough as it is, but add a global pandemic on top of everything, and life can get even more stressful. Children are famously resilient, but they are still people. Much like anybody, their capacity to adapt can shift, especially when consistency is no longer present.
Resiliency means rising above hardship. The pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but especially for children. When children are taken away from their usual routine, it can severely affect their overall wellbeing.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent emotional breakdowns. When it comes to children, it is important to understand what needs need to be met and what keeps them healthy. Everyone’s situation looks different, so as a caretaker, it is essential that you remain aware of what you may be missing.
Are you currently financially insecure? Is your child having a difficult time making virtual connections? Do you have secure wifi access? These are all questions you may need to consider as you care for your child during a global pandemic.
As you make your way through the inevitable obstacles that come with COVID-19, it is important that you not only help your child but help yourself cope with a new routine. Here are 5 things that you should do to encourage resilience in your household.
- Assess If Needs are Metyou must remain
While it may be hard to evaluate your surroundings, it is required for the wellbeing of your child. Do you have dependable wifi access in your home? Are you currently unemployed? Are your children getting bored without a consistent routine? These types of internal questions may appear overbearing, but they are exactly what you should be asking.
When you do this, you are holding yourself accountable while figuring out what your children may need to succeed. For one thing, we are not all financially secure, so if you are in a situation where you know you will need assistance, plan and see if you can receive monetary support.
When you are aware of what your family needs, you are one step ahead of the pandemic. Observing your needs and planning could prevent emotional breakdowns, disciplinary action, or mental illness.
- Encourage Self-Care
While this may depend on the age of your children, see if you can implement self-care into their routine. Sit down and talk to them about the importance of taking care of their bodies emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Keep in mind that this includes you. You may be a parent, but you are still human. Being confined to a household with other people dependent on your guidance may get overwhelming. If you are beginning to feel the effects of stress, take short walks, set aside time to meditate, or read a good book while your children are in classes.
Above all, normalize the idea of self-care for everyone. Therapy is completely normal for all ages, so offer a safe space for your children to know how it can help them. Reach out to support groups for you and your children to stay connected with others going through similar trials.
- Compassionate Caregiving
You may see a side of your children that makes you exhausted. Because they no longer have a school building or extra-curricular activity outside of a Zoom box, they may take it out on you.
Just remember that they will do this because you are a safe space. You could be the most consistent part of their current life, so try your best to be as empathetic as possible.
We are all human, so it’s okay if you make a few mistakes along the way. However, try your hardest to approach them with compassion, and patience.
- Take a Break
As mentioned previously, part of self-care is knowing when you may need to take time for yourself. For example, if you are experiencing an anxiety attack, take a few moments to ground yourself and breathe.
Being a parent doesn’t mean you have to be superhuman, so if you need to go for a short walk or have a dance party in the living room, please do so.
- Ask For Help
If you are used to doing things by yourself, try your best to allow other people to help you. Being a parent during a pandemic can feel very isolating, so it’s completely okay if you need to ask your close friend to take the kids off your hands once in a while.
If you need computers for your children, many schools have programs ready to give them to you with little to no charge. Ask for help if you are financially insecure, or allow others to take over if you need a nanny while you work at home.
Be Kind to Yourself
Your kids are resilient but so are you. Remember that it is okay not to be okay sometimes and that you don’t have to do everything perfectly. Take one day at a time, celebrate the little victories, and allow your family to grow through perseverance.