“Let It Go!” How To Parent During a Pandemic

If you are a parent your head is likely still spinning from the announcement of schools closing last March. If you were enjoying a rewarding career outside the home, you suddenly woke up one day to homeschooling and slicing apples. Yes, I’m looking at you Mom or Dad!

Not too long ago, I was a parent who thought pulling off a bedtime routine and packing for a business meeting (all in the same night!) made me an expert in multitasking. Nobody would confuse the household I was running as one remotely ready for the Covid-19 pandemic nor a quarantine lifestyle.

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There was only so much I could take of juggling modern math and monkey projects to scavenger hunts while socially distancing, working from home and staying sane. 

But, here I am today somehow making it all work, just like you.

And this is how I got here…

LET IT GO

Like the “Frozen” song, I’ve had to learn to let certain things go with my 7 year-old son. I realized that I needed to make concessions to get us through the last year. And, that was okay. We did what we had to do to homeschool, while I continued to work, and we somehow managed to balance it all. Not perfectly, but that’s ok. 

If you are like me, and were trying to adapt to working from home, you might have turned a blind eye to your child’s increasingly excessive video gaming, instant messaging, and YouTubing.

I mean, we went from NO electronics pre-quarantine, to something my son did all day long– just so I could be professionally productive! There really wasn’t a choice!

Now, of course, I like to think my son was using his iPad to take that virtual tour of the Eiffel Tower that I had set up for him, but I think we all know…that wasn’t happening.

None of us were meant to simultaneously be parents, teachers, entertainers and employees. Now here we are feeling guilty that our child has developed a Roblox obsession. Let it go.

CELEBRATING FRIENDS: Little Things Mean A Lot

After driving by my son’s friend’s house to honk and wave to him on his 7th birthday, it hit me… I had found my “covid calling.”

From that point on, we made a point of finding ways to celebrate each birthday or special occasions creatively and safely to honor individuals.

My son and I love dressing up as a New England sports team star with party favors and music to make people smile and feel special. We actually look forward all week to the next socially distant “party” which helps to give us an added purpose to our new normal.

SAFE ADJUSTMENTS

I’ve heard so many parents say their children won’t keep a mask on. This was my initial experience as well. But if you have a child attending school in the classroom this year, wearing a mask is mandatory. I cringe at the thought of a mask breaking at recess and all the opportunities to lose them, get them dirty, or accidentally put on a classmate’s.

Thankfully, I was introduced to a “lanyard name tag” creation. We have several of these and they are a game changer. There is no forgetting, losing or picking up the wrong mask. And yes, this helps me sleep at night! We have a family member who makes these lanyards for us. But you can find different versions on Amazon and simply write your child’s name on the strap.

As we continue to adapt to our new world, my goal has been progress not perfection.

My family is slowing beginning the process of stepping away from electronics and trying to return to being “safely social” with an emphasis on creativity and celebrating milestones.

My son may have figured out how to download 500 video games and open up his own amazon account, but today is a new day. We put limits on the screen time and that’s better than where we were last spring!

These are just a few of my discoveries over the past year. I would love to hear what is working for you! Please share in the comment section below. Or, if you’d like to share any Roblox gaming tips, that works too!  We got this! 

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