The coronavirus pandemic has challenged families in ways that our generation, and even ones before us, have never experienced before. Financial, existential, health, and environmental stressors have precipitated faster than we were prepared to handle. Within a couple of weeks, the world as we know it was paused. We have had to restructure our lives faster than we`ve had time to process or digest the circumstances surrounding us.
One of the challenges that this pandemic has created is coping with our kids being home from school. Whether the biggest struggle is homeschooling, working from home with kids around, or behavior management such as diffusing sibling rivalry, here are some coping skills to help you manage your current situation. Online therapy in Boca Raton at the Heart Connection Center can help you if you are struggling with parenting during this challenging time.
- Stay present with them.
Staying present during these times can seem elusive. The abrupt changes around us have us feeling uneasy. Our society is experiencing something traumatic. Therefore, our minds are encompassing thoughts and feelings connected to the flight or fight response. Our bodies are experiencing a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful threat to survival. Being unable to stay present with your kids can have detrimental outcomes on their behavior and on how your day turns out. Two ways to stay present with them are to energetically align yourself: Stay healthy and to have fun with them.
- Taking care of your health and fueling your mind, body, and spirit.
Introverts are usually fueled via alone time and extraverts are fueled through connection to others.
If you are an extravert make sure you make some time daily to connect to others through audio and video calls such as facetime or Whatsapp.
If you are an introvert make sure you have alone time to digest and process your thoughts and feelings. I know it is hard to get alone time during these times, however you can try to structure it into your day. For example, you can wake up earlier than everybody in the house to have a morning all to yourself. This way you are cleared and strengthened for your initial connection with your kids. Or you could put them to bed early and have some alone time at night before going to bed.
If you are experiencing anxiety or depression due to the quarantine, online therapy is available at the Heart Connection Center to give you tools to help you cope.
- Have fun with them.
It is hard not to be able to go outside to the park or movies. So, create some family fun time indoors. Make a movie night or game night. Bake cookies together or cook something fun like pizza. It will help everyone relax and forget what is going on in the world.
- Routine and structure
Kids feel more control of their lives when there is set structure and order in their day. It helps them to know what to expect, especially during times like these filled with change and uncertainty. Setting up a calendar, finding the patterns that work for the family as a whole, and enacting what works could be very beneficial. You could include allocated time slots for work, schoolwork & activities, household errands, fun, and relaxation to diversify the day and keep a momentum going.
Having a routine in place could also help you get your work done more efficiently. For example, you may find a time within the schedule/calendar to add your work. It could be during the relaxation time slot (i.e. during your children’s nap or movie time), or during the school work or errands time slot (i.e. them completing school assignments they don’t need help with).
Even though you set a routine don`t be too hard on yourself if you don’t stick to it completely. For example, If your child gets overwhelmed with completing work, let it go and have fun. Mental health (yours and the kids) during these challenging times may be more essential than completing and assignment. Lower your expectations on yourself and your children. You don’t need to stress yourself or your child out if they can’t complete their schoolwork or if they are struggling to get it done. It is okay to let it go.
therapist near Boca Raton is available with trained therapists at the Heart Connection Center- a counseling facility in Boca Raton dedicated to helping you heal and restructure your life during these challenging times. If you need support do not hesitate to contact us at 561-660-1692.
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