We have now lived with this global pandemic for almost a year now. It has become hard to tell what is stress induced by this health crisis versus the typical parental growing pains. What we know for sure is there is no routine to fall back into. We no longer have autonomy over our day. Instead, we must find ways to keep up with our children, who are ever-changing and progressing. Our children’s growth, be it emotional or physical, continues regardless that the world has somewhat stopped.
Parenting is difficult, hands down. Parenting during a pandemic is even harder. Parenting and working, during and in spite of a pandemic is incomprehensible. And what about having to co-parent through all of this?! We have been forced to create a daily routine with blurred lines between work and home – and there is no one to help!
This has been the year of constant recalibration. With that, it is important to keep and continue those healthy habits that you may have begun a year ago but perhaps have waned lately.
During remote everything, it is more important than ever to maintain bedtime and other routines that children unknowingly crave. Create a sense of order to the day that offers reassurance during these confusing and still uncertain times. All children, including teens, benefit from routines that are predictable yet flexible enough to meet their respective individual needs.
Another tool to help you to continue successfully parenting during a pandemic is to use positive discipline. Younger children may not have the words to describe their feelings and may in turn, act out their stress through bad behavior. Older kids/teens may be extra irritable as they have missed out on a year of normal events.
5 Tips for Parenting During a Pandemic
Here are a few ways to manage their emotions/behaviors:
- Redirect Bad Behavior: Some children misbehave because they are bored or don’t know any better. It sounds very simple but try to find something else for them to do;
- Direct Your Attention: Be cognizant of how you are reacting to your children. Attention to reinforce good behavior and discourage bad behavior is a powerful tool. Notice good behavior and praise it;
- Use Rewards and Privileges: Reinforce good behavior with a reward or privilege;
- Know When Not to Respond: Ignoring bad behavior sends a strong message to children;
- Take Care of Yourself: We have been saying this for a year now and it continues to be true. It is important to eat healthy, exercise and get adequate sleep. Find ways to decompress and take breaks, if possible.
It is important to practice gratitude for the things you have, when so many others go without. However, it does not diminish your feelings of loss and hardship. When we end this pandemic, and we will, we will end it as a different, hopefully better society. We will end with hope, experience and the knowledge that nothing bad lasts forever.
Experienced New York Family Law Attorney
There is no doubt that parenting during a pandemic is tough. Factor in that many families are co-parenting and dealing with parenting plans, new schedules and a whole slew of issues related to child support and child custody. It will not all be smooth sailing, and likely hasn’t been to this point. Should any issues arise, The Mandel Law Firm is here for you. To schedule your confidential consultation, get in touch with us today by either sending us a secure message via our website or by calling: 646-770-3868.