The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented changes to the way people live and work, and it has also brought about new challenges when it comes to parenting. With school closures, remote learning, and increased stress, post-pandemic parenting can feel like an emotional rollercoaster. As parents, we want to do our best to support our children, but it can be difficult to navigate the “learning landscape” without the right tools and resources. Whether you're a new parent or a seasoned one, the stress of post-pandemic parenting can take a toll on mental and emotional well-being. In this blog post, you’ll find 10 tips and tricks on how to manage the stress of post-pandemic parenting, and resources that can assist you to support your children along the way.
Set Realistic Expectations
Overview: The extracurricular activities available - athletically, academically, artistically, and otherwise - are growing, and it's important to be practical with yourself and your children. Don't expect perfection and don't be hard on yourself for not being able to do it all. Find a few activities that are well-suited to your children's development and support them to consistently give their best effort.
Create a Schedule
Overview: Having a purposeful daily/weekly schedule can help to provide structure and routine, which, when designed well, can promote consistent progress. Be thoughtful in creating a schedule that works for your family and stick to it as best as you can. Look for ways to make the most of your time together.
Overview: Taking care of yourself is essential for managing the stress of post-pandemic parenting. Make time for yourself, whether it's going for a walk, taking a yoga class, or reading a book. The more you cultivate a high-quality state of being, the more benefit you will be able to provide for your children.
Communicate with Your Child's Teachers
Overview: Connecting with your child's teachers is essential for ensuring that your child is getting the support that’s needed. Make sure you are in regular contact with relevant leaders at your child’s school and that you are aware of what's happening in the classroom. Find a harmonious way to supplement the education your child is receiving.
Overview: Be clear about your guardrails with work and school to reduce your chances of burnout. It's important to invest time in yourself and in your family, and to disconnect from work and school when necessary. Hold yourself accountable to make decisions that align with what you value most highly.
Encourage Independent Learning
Overview: Guide your children to take ownership of their learning and to become independent learners. This can include setting goals, creating a study schedule, and seeking out resources on their own. Have fun conversing with your children to understanding more about how they are processing the information they are consuming.
Overview: Open yourself up to changes and to exploring new things. The way children learn is constantly evolving, and it's important to adapt and embrace new ways of doing things. Look to create variety in your own life, and it will trickle down to your children's lives as well.
Seek Out Resources
Overview: There are many resources available to help you become more knowledgeable on the topics you care about. Seek out resources such as webinars, tutorials, and support groups. Find some content sources that resonate with you and explore ways you can apply the insights they provide in everyday life.
Create a Designated Learning Space
Overview: Set aside space in your home that is dedicated to learning. This can include a desk, a comfortable chair, and good lighting. Give the space a special vibe and celebrate whenever your child is engaging it with a good attitude.
Remember to Have Fun
Overview: Learning can be stressful, but it's important to remember to make time for fun activities. Build relationships with your children that allow you to enjoy the time you spend with each other. Keep in mind that life changes quickly and remind yourself to stay in touch with the moments you share together.
Post-pandemic parenting can be stressful and at times overwhelming, but by setting realistic expectations, creating a schedule, prioritizing self-care, communicating with your child's teachers, setting boundaries, encouraging independent learning, being flexible, seeking out resources, creating a designated learning space and remembering to have fun, you can navigate the 21st century learning paradigm. Remember that there are resources and support available to help you. Don't hesitate to reach out for help if you're struggling and continue to educate yourself on the subject. By taking care of ourselves and our children, and seeking help when we need it, we can face this new challenge as strong, informed and compassionate parents.
Additional Resources for Support
It's important to note that each child and family is unique and may have different needs, therefore it's important to consult with professionals and use multiple sources of information to get a more comprehensive understanding of the situation and how to support your child during post-pandemic parenting.
Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic, World Health Organization (WHO)
Supporting Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing during COVID-19, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
Remote Learning and the Impact on Children’s Mental Health, Child Mind Institute
Tips for Parents: Supporting Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic, National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)
Supporting Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic, National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
Supporting Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic, National Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
Helping Children Cope with Changes Resulting from COVID-19, American Psychological Association (APA)
Supporting Children’s Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Child Welfare Information Gateway
Supporting Children during Times of Crisis, National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)
Supporting Children's Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
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