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Prevea Health

Parenting during a Pandemic


These are difficult times and things are going to be different. It is okay if things don’t get done around the house or certain assignments do not get completed. Adopting a “dare-to-be-average” mind-set will allow for some personal forgiveness as you and your family navigate changes. Ask yourself, did schoolwork get done? Did work get done? Did I engage in self-care? The answer to these questions should be, “Yes, as best as I could today.”

Working from home and parenting school-age children

  • Create a separate work/school/play space in your home.
  • Have a set “end” time to work and school.
  • Incorporate physical movement and activity.
  • Have scheduled breaks from work/school.
  • Click here for more ideas and resources to help set you up for success.

Working from home and parenting infants and toddlers

  • Encourage independent play for short amounts of time – use a timer for your child as well as for yourself. Set your child up for success by creating space and providing toys for the play that are age appropriate.
  • Re-organize your schedule to take advantage of sleep/rest time, whenever possible.
  • Block out noise as much as possible while maintaining appropriate supervision of your child(ren).
  • Be proactive. Prepare bottles or lunch in advance and anticipate interruptions. 
  • Everyone is in this together so there will most likely be understanding from those on the other end of your conference call. Let members of your team know what you are doing to manage your household and work life.
  • Provide your children with times of undivided attention so that they experience your presence regularly and don’t feel like they are always competing for your time.

Ideas for home-schooling children

  • Create a schedule for your day together. Children are used to being in a classroom where activities change every 30 minutes to every hour. Having a schedule will help your children understand your expectations while providing a proactive strategy for all family members. Check out this resource to help implement schedules.
  • Create dedicated spaces in your home for various activities. For example, art and lunch may be at the table, gym and recess take place outside and reading occurs on the couch.
  • If you are not sure how to help your child with homework or assignments, seek out resources on YouTube, ask for help from older children, or from adults in your life that might be more versed in math, English or science.
  • Remember, learning is meant to be fun and exciting!
  • Have children read books that they enjoy and then tell you about what they read.
  • Go for a walk and encourage your children to identify what birds, plants and creatures live in your area.
  • Have everyone pick a song for the day, share why they chose it and listen together as a family.
  • Use writing prompts or write stories to spark creativity.
  • Use a computer or technology to teach math through fun games.

Engage in self-care activities

  • Ensure you are getting enough rest, eating a balanced diet and getting routine exercise.
  • Take time for hobbies or interests you previously enjoyed but didn’t have time to do.
  • Employ the use of calming, centering and meditative skills. Click here for some calming and mindfulness resources.

Set limits on your media consumption

Avoid having television, radio or other media run continuously in the background. Schedule specific times to check in on the news and set limits on how long you watch or consume news.

Seek professional help when needed

If your mental health is being impacted by the stress of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), please reach out to your primary care physician who can help connect you with therapy resources. Many things are changing in the field of mental health and telemedicine or phone visits may be an option.