Parenting in a Pandemic

March is usually a time everyone begins to welcome in Spring. It is the time of year we look forward to hearing the birds sing. It is the time of year we look forward to the flowers blossoming and showing forth their beautiful colors. It is usually a time of butterflies and yes, all those other annoying insects resurface. It's also the time all students who worked hard all year long look forward to that spring break they anticipated for so long. March is usually the time we look forward to putting away all the winter blues and dim days. It is the time we look forward to the bright sunshine which signifies newness, life, shorts and flipflops. That is if you are from the South. If you are in the north, then the shorts and flipflops may have to wait a little while longer.

However, when this past March came around, we found ourselves dealing with something new. Something so foreign that everyone has been baffled by it. This March we found ourselves in a crisis of pandemic magnitude. CODVID19 had invaded our land, our lives, and our families in a way that has been unimaginable. Life as we knew it had been changed. Social Distancing, a phrase we never ever heard, has become the new norm. The images of people wearing facemask we have seen on our smartphones, laptops, computers, or television, became our image. Not to mention the hoarding of toilet tissue.

So, here we are in April and on stay at home orders all around the nation and some on lockdowns around the world. Children are at home and parents are being challenged to be the online teacher/tutor, sitter, and in-home chef and caterer. I know a Hurricane and Pandemic are quite different, but they are still similar in having to bunker down in place and being a disruptor of your norm. However, I have to say this current pandemic is nothing like we have ever seen.

So, to answer the question, you would simply parent in a pandemic. As a parent you know what is needed in your household to keep it functioning. No one like a parent is when it comes to new ways of during things and adjusting to circumstances and situations. Talk about something bigger than yourself in times of uncertainty. Implement new and better ways to do things. Most of all stay positive.

Trust in A Higher Power

Being in uncertain times leaves us asking  Why? and What? It leaves us with asking how we will navigate the crisis that has been laid at our feet. Even more importantly we struggle with how we can keep some sort of normalcy within the family at this time. For me my source has always been trusting in God and his sovereignty. In times where I needed strategies on how to overcome adversities, I sought God. There never was a time I was left destitute or hopeless. His word reassured me that my family and I would get through it and it would one day be a memory. It calmed me all while creating a space for me to serve my family in the process.

Implement New Norms

Now that your constant grind to conqueror the to-do list has been cut significantly, you have time to reset. In some cases the entire family is home. The parents and children need to keep some sort of normalcy.What does that look like? There should be a routine to your day. There are some parents who must work from home while others being essential workers must leave for work while the kids are at home all day. I will say that again. (all day) Things can get pretty hectic. Parents can implement new norms like meals together, detaching from all technology to engage in other games that require full attention and participation. Family time discussions about the crisis and how to stay productive during it. Introduce or add to your child’s curriculum new lessons. Lessons about health and nutrition, business, finance the arts and ways to give back.

Speak Positivity and Affirmations

During a time when what we know as the norm has been interrupted in such a way where we are unsure about tomorrow, a sure word is needed. For me that sure word has always been the word of God. Speaking affirmations and speaking positively during this time will also help to take some of the focus off the reality that is happening around the world and in the news. It is important to protect the mental state of the family so that they will emerge from this stronger with a sense of purpose.  Parenting in a pandemic is simply just parenting. It’s knowing there is help outside of yourself. It’s being creative with activities and organizing your day to better serve the family. It is discussing the effects of what is going on in a limited way but making sure peace and joy is the order of the day. Maximize opportunities to do some of the things your normal life did not afford you.

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