Parenting During COVID-19

Not all heroes wear capes. Oftentimes they wear some combination of apple juice, glitter, chicken nuggets and Elmer’s glue, all while juggling two or more tasks at any given moment. Moms and dads of the world – we see you, we love you, and we appreciate you beyond words. Being a parent is no easy task. Add in the upending and ever-changing circumstance that is COVID-19, and parents are taking the term “superhero” to a whole new level. Fueled by our Handle With Care mission, we pooled some of our favorite resources for parents and families to lean on during the COVID-19 outbreak. Above all else, our hope is that moms and dads, you recognize what an incredible job you are doing (and we mean it), you take great care of yourselves and find comfort in knowing that you are not alone in navigating this unpredictable COVID-19 chapter of parenthood. 

 

A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING:

1. How To Protect Your Family’s Mental Health In The Face Of COVID-19

A Q&A by UNICEF with adolescent psychology expert Dr. Lisa Damour. This article is packed with information on how to handle children feeling lonely, disconnected or disappointed about cancelled plans and events. It also addresses increased screen time and how to empower kids to be helpful and resourceful in a time of need. 

 

TALKING WITH YOUR KIDS ABOUT COVID-19:

1. Seven Ways To Support Kids & Teens Through COVID-19

2. How To Talk To Your Children About The Coronavirus

These articles from Mass General Hospital offer concrete ways for parents to support and talk to their kids about the pandemic. It also breaks down how children view and understand the crisis based on their developmental level.

3. Talking With Children About COVID-19

The CDC also posted an article that includes clear and specific examples to use when talking to younger children about the virus. 

 

AT HOME FAMILY RESOURCES:

1. At Home Guide To Food, Fun & Conversation

This guide offers healthy and easy recipes for families using common pantry items. Plus, projects for kids at all ages and for the whole family. One of our favorite parts: the conversation starters at the bottom of the guide. When you no longer have to ask “How was your day?,” these topics spark conversations that you otherwise might not have had as a family. 

2. Sesame Street Tool Kit   

3. At-Home Activity Guide  

These resources include short play and learn videos, suggestions for maintaining a routine and self care tips for parents with younger children. The At-Home Activity Guide also links to activities based on your young child’s age and the time of year

 

SELF CARE FOR PARENTS:

1. Self Care In The Time Of Coronavirus

This article from The Child Mind Institute addresses the need for parents to make time for themselves, now more than ever. “Taking care of yourself isn’t a luxury. It’s essential.”

2. Managing Stress During COVID-19

This article from The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital offers helpful tips and words of encouragement to parents during the outbreak. 

 

FROM PARENT TO PARENT:

We asked our HB community for first hand advice and support from parents, for parents. Here are the responses!

Any silver linings for your family during this time? 

  • My family is making a great effort to keep in touch via video chat and sending extra pictures daily.
  • Live online music that we can enjoy as a family!
  • I have time to observe how my four year old responds to stress and work with him.
  • I’m spending more time with my son and realizing that done is good enough with work.
  • I’m using this time to make up for lost time with my kids.

What words of advice or encouragement would you give another parent?

  • There is no playbook for parenting through a global pandemic. Keep being awesome!
  • You are doing enough. This is a lot and whatever you can give right now is enough.
  • Do not compare yourself to other parents on social media. It robs you of time and joy with your family.
  • Bring your kids into your world. Show them how you work. Share feelings. Take time for you.
  • This is the kind of time with your kids that you crave when you’re working all the time. Savor it.
  • There is no right or wrong way to parent through a time like this.
  • Take the pressure off of yourself.
  • If your kids are fed and happy, you’re doing great.
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