Coping Techniques for Parents Post Covid

Well, we have been in this Covid-19 world for over a year now. And what a year it has been! We have all experienced so many challenges and changes, putting many of us into survival mode. Let’s take some time now to decompress, process what we have been through and explore tips for coping with the continued uncertainty.

Although research on long term effects of this past year is still streaming in, early studies do show how family dynamics have been affected. We have spoken to parents and staff to gather feedback about what they have experienced and how they have coped with the challenges, in the hope that as a community we can support one another to move forward.

Back to School

For many, online learning was a significant challenge with parents breathing a sigh of relief now that schools are back in session. During periods of lockdown and blended learning, parents felt the extra pressure, especially working parents due to the extra workload of managing the online schedule, supporting children with school work and juggling their own job. On top of this many families were managing household chores alone, when they previously had support. Plus there was financial instability caused by reduction of salaries or redundancies. Understandably, this caused a high level of stress felt by every member of the family.

In many cases children have fallen behind academically due to not having the social support of peers in their learning process and not having their particular learning style met by the online education. But, on the other hand, some students have actually done better with the personalized attention from parents and teachers.

Here are some tips for back to school:

  • Be realistic – the post pandemic transition will be a challenge for you and your children. Try to be supportive and reassuring when your children try to navigate the transition.
  • Communicate – talk to your children about their feelings and help them understand that it is ok to feel sad, anxious or overwhelmed.
  • Practice self care – Children will pick up on your feelings, so when you are anxious, chances are high that your child will mirror those emotions. That is why it is important to name these emotions and try to practice self care to ensure you are getting the support you need as a parent. You can practice deep breathing, exercise, get some alone time to practice a hobby (even if it’s just for 30 minutes when the kids are asleep). Many of these activities can be done as a family unit too – there are also ideas on Educore (Kids First Group App) for how you can take care of yourself.
  • Reinstate routines – set up a schedule to follow for daily activities and ensure children (and you) are getting enough sleep at night.

Socialization

With schools opening up and other group activities being restarted, it is a good time to get children back into social situations. Especially when the weather starts to cool down, there will be other opportunities to enjoy social activities outdoors. Remember to stay safe and do what you are comfortable with using caution, wearing masks and following protocols.

Here are some socialization tips:

  • Maintain social interactions – even if this is through phone, video chats or writing. It is imperative to keep in touch regularly with family and friends as this strengthens emotional relationships and maintains a support system. Plus, writing letters is a fun and educational activity for children as they can practice reading, writing and can also be creative with illustrations. If you don’t want to send letters in the mail, you can always take a picture of the letter and send it digitally!
  • Build social skills – sending your children to nursery can help them build vital social skills such as learning how to share, interacting with people from different backgrounds, playing in groups and so much more. These skills translate into life skills and are important to build from a young age.

Family Time

Spending more time together during lockdown put a lot into perspective with many families realizing that they were previously over-scheduled. With work from home or more flexible schedules, many working parents now have a more work-life balance. They have come to appreciate the importance of family time for their own well being and for the benefit of their children.

Ideas for Family Time:

  • Set aside regular time for good old fashion family bonding (preferably without screens). You can play games, read together, draw, build or so many other possibilities. Plus the weather will be cooling down soon, allowing us to spend more time outdoors.
  • Have the kids help plan activities – take a picnic for example. The kids can help plan the menu, shop for ingredients and prepare the meal.

We each have dealt with our own unique challenges and experiences recently, only a few of which have been explored above. Hopefully we can continue to move forward together as a strong community.

You may check Educore for more self care tips or get in touch with us.

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