The greatest parenting tip to keep a sense of calm at home is to behave like an optimist, even if you’re not, you need to behave like one.
Fear, uncertainty, and being holed up at home to slow the spread of COVID-19 can make it tough for parents to keep a sense of calm at home. At a time of crisis like this, happiness is particularly elusive and attempts to find it may lead to the opposite. It is so important to help children feel safe, keep healthy routines and build resilience.
Children rely on their parents for safety, both physical and emotional. Address their fears. Reassure your them that you are there for them and that your family will get through this together.
- Chat about and answer questions about the pandemic simply & honestly. Remind them about hygiene and the importance of washing hands and not touching their faces.
- Recognize your child’s feelings. Calmly say, for example, “I can see that you are upset because you can’t have your friends over.” Guiding questions can help older children and teens work through issues. (“I know it is disappointing not to be able to hang with your friends right now. How do you think you can stay in touch with them?”)
- Focus on the gratitude
- Learn something new together. Especially important if you have teenagers. Keeping busy also helps to keep a sense of calm at home.
- Connect with family and friends and how to manage feelings. Talk through how you are managing your own feelings. (“I am worried about Granny and Grandpa since I can’t go visit her.
- Tell your child before you leave the house for work or essential errands. In a calm and reassuring voice, tell them where you are going, how long you will be gone, when you will return, and that you are taking steps to stay safe. Make sure they see you wash your hands the minute you get back.
- Look forward. Talk to your children about how scientists are working hard to figure out how to help people.
- Offer extra hugs and say “I love you” more often
It is your duty as a parent to keep a sense of calm at home and remember, it’s not about seeking happiness, it’s about seeking meaning.