Parenting Was Hard Enough Already….
Even before the pandemic, even before sheltering-in-place, even before helping a young child navigate an online classroom while working online yourself, if lucky enough to be working, it was hard work – meaningful, rewarding, wouldn’t-trade-it-for-the-world – but hard work. And now, parents are pulling their hair out and doing their best to not do that in front of the kids.
Here are some excellent resources I’ve found, when there’s 3.5 seconds to read through them:
Discipline Looks Different in a Pandemic by Melinda Wenner Moyer, New York Times, April 17, 2020
“My kids have been building a lot of forts lately, and their passion for the endeavor is equal parts adorable and deplorable. The other day, my 8-year-old kicked my 5-year-old in the eye for having the gall to procure a small pillow from the fort he’d built the day before, even though he wasn’t playing with it anymore. I frequently find myself wondering how best to respond to situations like this.
“In an ideal world, we wouldn’t be cooped up together 24 hours a day in a home with only 12 pillows. Should I be more lenient, then, when my kids act out? Or should I be strict in an attempt to maintain limits? What is the best way for parents to respond to misbehavior in the midst of a global crisis?”
1. Understand why your kids are a mess. [the unpredictability of no play-dates, no school, different foods at different meal times can be a bit de-stabilizing]
2. Respond with empathy…and reminders of the rules. [like you do when your child is home sick with a fever, care, care, care. You may ease up on punishments for now, but rules provide a stabilizing structure.]
3. Play, hugs, one-on-one – the stand-bys of connection that calm and soothe.
4. Go easy on yourself, too (putting your own oxygen mask on, too.)
More from this article, Discipline Looks Different in a Pandemic
By Rebecca Branstetter, school psychologist, Greater Good Science Center, April 21, 2020
By Leslie Roos and Jessica Flannery, The Conversation, April 17, 2020
By MacKenzie Dawson in the New York Post, April 18, 2020
by Mary Katharine Ham, The Atlantic, April 8, 2020
By Lenore Skenazy, Washington Post, April 8, 2020