The Role of Parents during Lockdown
Most of us have been forced to stay at home, thus limiting our social, academic, and working life. In this context, we don't only have to think about ourselves but also about our children. The question is, how do we meet this challenge? What's the role of parents during lockdown?
The coronavirus crisis has placed us in an extraordinary situation. Those who can are working from home, most shops are closed, and children and teenagers aren’t going to school. The situation is difficult, and being parents during lockdown can make it even more complex.
Many parents have to reconcile teleworking with caring for their children at home. In addition to that, they have to deal with any problems that may arise on a daily basis, such as the difficulty managing their children’s emotions and structuring their activities (at least for the youngest ones).
The recommendation is that we all continue to live as much of a normal life as possible. However, in the case of parents, we need to highlight some specific aspects.
Parents during lockdown
Many experts have stated what parents can do during lockdown. For example, fun home activities, how to talk to children about the situation, and how to adapt to the new school routine, among other things.
In this article, we list the most relevant aspects so that parents can overcome this coronavirus crisis successfully.
First of all, as some general advice, both for parents and those who aren’t, it’s essential to respect children’s space and emotions. Put yourself in their shoes and accept their frustration and bored, by showing them support.
One key to surviving this crisis is to establish and follow a routine. It’s important for children to have a set routine that includes rest times and activities.
The schedule shouldn’t be too strict, just set a specific time for them to get up, eat, and go to bed. This also helps make things a little more predictable, which reduces uncertainty and stress.
Ideally, you should try to follow the same school schedule as far as possible. Devote time to the tasks that the teachers have sent online but always allow time for rest.
Also, it’s important to establish certain rules to avoid disturbances when both children and parents are working. This way, both parents and children will be able to concentrate on their work.
Due to this situation, it’s also very beneficial to incorporate new activities. Perhaps it’s time to complete that puzzle or finally play the board game you always wanted.
Try to include some gentle exercise in these new activities. This is a great way to release tension, motivate everyone, and ensure better sleep.
Regarding these activities, encourage your kids to come up with games or brainstorm. Alternatively, you can play the same games that you already enjoy but change some of the rules.
Learning to manage anxiety
The way parents feel inevitably rubs off on their children. That’s why it’s important for adults to learn how to manage anxiety and worry. Try to avoid fatalistic thoughts and focus on finding solutions and alternatives.
Due to day-to-day stress and the fears that may arise, it’s important to maintain a sense of perspective, involving children only when necessary. Whenever you feel overwhelmed and can’t seem to cope, you’ll need to find another room to spend some time disconnecting and de-stressing.
In addition to this, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we highly recommend that you limit how much news you listen to. Try to limit it to a specific time of the day, and, this way, you won’t get saturated. This will help you avoid overburdening yourself with tension and worry.
Even though you’re confined at home at the moment, it’s essential to keep making plans. You can set aside one day a week for some special activity. Of course, it’s even better if you include the little ones in the decision-making process.
For example, you can plan to cook something different during the weekend or simulate a playground. The important thing is to break the routine and disconnect once in a while. Everyone will benefit from a break.
First and foremost, attitude
Being parents during lockdown isn’t easy. However, the most important thing is to face it all with a positive attitude. Seeing everything that’s happening from another perspective can be the key to ensure that all family members get along. For example, changing thoughts such as “It’s so frustrating we can’t go to the park” to “It’s great that we can spend time together at home”.
This is an opportunity to take advantage of all the time you don’t normally have. Thus, harness it in order to get to know your children better, do things with them, and help them deal with emotions such as boredom or frustration. You’ll all come out of this much more united!