Parenting is beautiful, but at the same time, it can be challenging, exhausting, and full of things you didn’t plan when you decided to have a child. One of the things that surely you didn’t even think about, was the current pandemic, and all the stress that comes with it. As a parent, you have a responsibility to ensure your kid has access to education, food, hygiene, and all the basic needs every human being has, at some stage in their life. Until March this year, many families thought they were perfect. They wake up in the morning, prepare breakfast, and drink the coffee, and then send the children to school, and heading to the office. But, once the World Health Organization announced we are in a state of the pandemic, and very strict measures should be taken, we saw that things weren’t that perfect as we thought.
The first thing we had to face was working from home, layoffs, forced unpaid leaves, homeschooling, online lessons, lack of social life due to physical distancing, and we saw that our lives are not that perfect as we thought before. Many people realized they didn’t have time for their kids before because weekends are not enough to spend quality moments with them. Some of them discovered they have talents they couldn’t even imagine developing them when they were overwhelmed with the job. Then, they finally had a chance to meet their kids and their personality, because now, they needed to spend more time with them. That’s why many parents faced the cruel reality – the image they had in their heads, was far from the reality, and they didn’t really know their kids, their needs, and their specific characteristics. Yes, the coronavirus is harmful, and have already taken a lot of lives, but on the other hand, some people finally had a chance to pay more attention to themselves, and their families, learn new things, start exercising, reading books, visit online courses, and realize which people are worth keeping in their life, and who can leave forever.
But, when it comes to the family, we can’t really decide to leave or replace them for something better. A lot of parents had huge issues during the pandemic, especially when most of the countries were locked down. Here are a few of them, that parents reported to their doctors, psychologists, or the kids’ teachers:
1. How to tell the kids online school is equally important as the real one
Since the first day of the pandemic, the authorities recommended for schools to close, and send the children to study at home. The online meeting platforms were overwhelmed by the huge number of meetings scheduled, and as we saw, many of them are widely recognized around the world. But, the children didn’t take that seriously, and they thought they can play with their toys, and skip the classes because they didn’t really understand what was happening. The parents had a very important task – to explain to their kids this educational system is equal to the traditional ones, and they need to be responsible, so they can get better marks at the end of the year.
2. Losing patience due to the new situation and the rise of SOS helplines
According to Legal&General, the coronavirus took its toll, and the parents had full hands of the job to protect the children, ensure they have access to education, and maintain the household, without losing their mind. Divorced and unmarried parents also had challenging times because the shared parenting was risky. Single parents couldn’t ask for help from the older family members, because they were all afraid of the unknown virus. Some civil and independent organizations jumped in to help – they opened SOS parenting helplines, where social workers and psychotherapists offer their support services to the parents in need. The number of calls increased once the state of emergency was announced. They were asking for advice and support, and also instructions, how to make their life easier during that time. SOS operators are reporting that most of these problems have deeper roots behind, and they were present all the time, but we needed the coronavirus to get aware.
3. Overcoming their fears so they can calm down the children
Every parent has a responsibility to make sure the children are always safe and secure. But, the coronavirus is frightening even for the bravest and most courageous people. So, instead of getting scared and panicking, the parents had to find a way to explain to the kids how dangerous a virus can be if they proceed going out, playing with other children, or visiting the grandparents. The initial phase was hard to explain even to the stubborn adults, and we can’t expect the kids to be aware of the danger, and every other restriction that comes with it. Probably, many of them didn’t even have time to face their fears, because they needed to take care of someone else – their children in this case. This is another one hot topic that operators from the SOS lines, but also the general researches show.
Parenting is not easy. In unknown situations, as it’s the pandemic, you should get really creative so your kids can realize and understand that something is happening, and then try to explain it, with the simplest words and sentences, what is going on, and how we can cope with that. The existence of the SOS lines we already mentioned shows us that no one is smart enough to cope with some unpleasant situation, without asking for help or support.
The pandemic is still active, the number of positive cases is growing every day, in the whole world. The whole thing is frightening, and no one is safe. But, at least you can do, no matter if you are a parent or not, is to respect the measures and restrictions, because that’s the only way to make this whole period easier, hoping that soon we will be back to the normal life.