The coronavirus outbreak has turned upside down most of our routines and dynamics. Parenting is no exception, so it’s wise to add some new guidelines to adapt your parenting style to the current circumstances.
Providing structure, spending time one-on-one and staying calm even when correcting bad behavior are some of the parenting tips that will make your time sheltering in place more rewarding both for you and your children.
With an event like the COVID-19 outbreak, one of your firsts tasks as a parent is providing your children with a sense of structure. Set a day schedule and a week calendar and stick to it as much as possible. This doesn’t mean that every hour should be rigidly accounted for. The purpose of structuring time is offering your children a general layout that allows them to know what to expect. Consistency is key to allay anxiety during uncertain times.
One-On-One Time is Important
Staying at home usually means spending a lot of time with your children. But quantity doesn’t always translate into quality. Make sure to set aside time to spend time one-on-one with your children. Give them a chance to vent and talk about their needs and fears, and the fun things they look forward to. Don’t forget that communication goes both ways, so share your feelings while staying reassuring and positive.
Help Your Children Stay Positive
The ideal state of mind during lockdown is cautious optimism. Help your children stay positive and focused by reminding them that the discomfort of quarantine is transitory and serves a purpose. Teach them to always hope for the best while staying grounded on reality. Don’t forget to set the example in that regard by relying only on official, trustworthy sources of information. Other ways of ensuring everyone stays positive is avoiding shouting and offering sincere praise.
You can reassure your children by staying calm, although sometimes this is easier said than done under the ongoing circumstances. Take breaks whenever you feel tired or overwhelmed. Also, consider doing breathing exercises or one-minute meditations to regain your center when you feel irritated. When the time to correct bad behavior comes, take a couple of deep breaths, connect with the feeling on the floor beneath your feet and then state clearly what’s the behavior you expect.