2020 has been a year like no other. The COVID-19 pandemic threw the whole world into disarray. And to say it made parenting a challenge is an understatement. COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown meant that parents around the world were navigating new territory and trying to find solutions to problems never dealt with before. Today, we’ll look at the main challenges the pandemic posed and how these are best tackled:
Kids are curious beings at the best of times but trying to explain away the pandemic and its impacts were, and to some extent are unenviable tasks. It’s one thing addressing a difficult subject matter when you know what you are talking about, but the real challenge here is explaining a pandemic when information and rules surrounding lockdown keep changing.
First things first, stay calm! Let your child’s curiosity guide you. Answer their questions in the simplest possible way. Also, remember to check in with them constantly to see how they are feeling about it and discuss any developments.
Lockdown orders forced most of us to hunker down indoors and work from home. But for parents, this posed more than just the usual challenge as they had balance deadlines and zoom meetings with childcare duties. Finding ways not just to keep kids entertained but to keep them learning wasn’t easy.
Despite criticisms about the dangers of screen time, technology came to the fore during lockdown. Many schools and nurseries set up online platforms which allowed parents to use technology to continue their child’s education and progress.
Just as we were just getting accustomed to our new routine, it was time to return to work. But things aren’t exactly going back to the way they were so adjustments need to be made. In terms of our children, who’d got used to seeing us at home 24/7 returning to work also means dealing with a new level of separation anxiety,
In light of these new issues, parents have had to find ways to tackle separation anxiety. Helping everyone reestablish old routines and regain independence is key.
And of course, it wasn’t just the mums and dads getting back to normal. Parents also face the predicament of whether or not to send their kids back to school. Although the COVID-19 risks for children are said to be minimal if an elderly family member helps with childcare then their health is something that needs to be considered. Furthermore, simple school protocols have also changed in light of new health risks so parents are also required to help their kids adjust to those.
While some parents have already decided their children should get back to school, others have opted to make use of online learning platforms. Utilising a mixed childcare model whereby your little one attends nursery on a parttime basis and is taken care of by a nanny for the remainder of the week is another viable option, under the current circumstances.
A Final Word
Ultimately, even though COVID-19 seemed to turn the world on its head, it also demonstrated the resilience of the human spirit. People and communities are incredibly adaptable and so are our little ones. With just a little forethought and flexibility, parents the world over have managed to tackle the various challenges posed by the global pandemic in pragmatic ways that have not just protected their children but made them stronger and more independent in the process.
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