You may find yourself at home 24/7 with your children when you’re used to going to work or school. Quarantine made us all stay at home. Maybe you have a spouse or someone who usually takes care of your children but now you see what their day-to-day looks like.
For parents, to take care of your children, you need to maintain mental wellness no matter what the circumstances are. Quarantine time is already stressful and parenting is even more challenging. Some challenges you may encounter are:
- You have to live with your partner or spouse 100% of your time. It can be challenging especially if you’re already used to seeing each other just after work or after your agendas within the day.
- You are now a teacher of your child and you aren’t even sure how to solve certain math problems.
- Trying to appear professional while working from home via video conference. This includes somehow keeping your kids from popping up in the video frame or belting out some Baby Shark at the top of their lungs.
These are some tips on how you can get through to these challenging times:
- Keep a routine
Keep the daily schedule of your child as best as you can. Keep their eating and sleeping hours the same and maintain also their school work during normal school hours. Consistency can decrease the impact of the emotional and mental change that is required during a big shift which is the new normal.
- Respond empathically
When change happens, know that it is normal and common to see more behavioral concerns arise in children. You need to cope with them because maybe they have no idea how to express or show what they feel and you also need to adapt in such a situation. It’s up to you to model these steps for them. Help your children to recognize their emotions, share your feelings, and confirm their experiences. Respond compassionately because it is another way to let them know that you’re there for them despite their behaviors.
- Keep them active
Quarantine is the best opportunity to engage with them in learning activities, different art projects, and other household doings. Give them learning opportunities. You can let them express their emotions in artwork, playing, and writing. At least once a day, let them play in the front or at your backyard.
- Include them in what you’re doing
If you’re doing household chores or daily tasks, show them why you’re doing it and how you’re doing it. You can assign a small chore for them and make it into a fun activity or a game that they will enjoy. Make it a learning opportunity, if you have a chance, which they will feel important about.
- Don’t forget to be connected with your child
Parents can become unhappy at the thought of their young child growing up so fast. Now that you are granted the gift of time, it will truly be more overwhelming than what it is likely to be. Even though this might be the situation, remind yourself of why you wanted more time with them in the first place. Read to them, play with them, talk to them, and be present with them.