4 Parenting Tips to help Families Survive Covid-19 Endemic
Does the term ‘work from home’ (WFH) and ‘full home-based learning’ (HBL) fill you with a sense of dread? If so, Ms Hannah Chow, Senior Social Worker from Bethesda Care Services has the following tips for parents.
Life is full of uncertainties. The year of 2020 is behind us and we are midway through 2021. There are mixed emotions and reactions to the new mask-wearing lifestyle with frequent telecommunication meetings, shift duties at offices combined with work from home arrangements.
But across the board, most parents share a common sense of dread when the term ‘full home-based learning’ re-surfaces in the news.
As our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed Singaporeans to view Covid-19 as an endemic disease, we’d like to offer some parenting tips to help parents cope in relation to the pandemic and its resulting constraints on our family life.
Tip #1 – Work out a daily routine with reward system
An established routine is the backbone to surviving the work from home (WFH) and home-based learning (HBL) combo. A reward system helps you manage the routine with less hiccups.
We recommend the usage of visuals to help children under 9 years old process and digest their new ‘timetable’. Some examples of rewards for teens may include screen time or the privilege to grab some snacks from the fridge once they are done with their assignments.
Tip #2 – Recognise and Praise Efforts
Children thrive on praise. What are some desirable traits that you would like to cultivate in your children? Investing some effort into building up behavioral traits in your children will make the long journey of parenthood gradually get easier.
Some specific behaviors you may want to help your child start with might be learning to speak in a softer tone instead of shouting. Another example is to finish homework before playtime. Learning to speak softly teaches children to be respectful whilst finishing homework before playtime instils the value of hard work, consistency and responsibility.
Tip #3 – Partake in Creative Projects as a Family
Running out of ideas on what to do at home? It’s only natural that as parents we occasionally give ourselves some cheat days where we let the TV do the baby sitting for us. But we highly recommend setting aside some time at least once a week during the weekends to spend some time doing things together as a family.
Working together as a family creates a special intimate space for family members to bond and for your children to learn from the way you communicate and solve challenges as a team. Often it is also a practical lesson for young children to learn how to follow instructions and hence enjoy the game or project.
Landeeseelandeedo has some great game and activity ideas that may help to get your creative juices flowing.
Tip #4 – Encourage Emotional Expression and Validate Your Child’s Feelings
Children of different ages will encounter different challenges when it comes to expressing themselves. As parents, we need to be mindful of how we respond to our children whenever they are sharing their thoughts, feelings or simply recounting an incident from earlier that day. A sense of being heard and understood helps them to feel loved and in turn makes them more receptive to your instructions.
Here are some tips on how to encourage emotional expression and validate your child’s feelings:
Find out more about managing self and emotion.
Self-care & Identity as a Parent
There’s a saying, ‘Happy mama, happy baby.’ Well, we’d like to advocate happy parents and marriages typically leads to a happy family and confident children. Taking care of yourself as a parent is important.
Periodically meet your own needs to get yourself recharged. What are the activities that help you recharge? For some of us, it may be making sure we get some fresh air, a short walk, run or cycle helps. For others, it may be simply clocking some me-time to do what you love – baking, reading, sewing or indulging in some sweet desserts.
Accept that you are not a perfect parent. There will be times you make mistakes but it is ok as long as you have done your best.
Seek support from others, so your load as a parent can be lightened. Having a strong support network of friends and family members helps a lot. During this pandemic period, platforms such as Zoom can increase our social resources despite the physical distance. There may be someone who can provide a listening ear to us or lend us a helping hand.
We hope that this article has given you some practical handles and tips to help you through these stressful times of change. If you have any feedback or comments, feel free to reach out to us here.
If you feel that you have reached a roadblock in the journey of parenthood, such that it has badly affected family relationships or your marriage, there is still formal help available in the form of counselling.
We offer Casework and Counselling Services to those who have a need for such support. Our Counselling case types covers the following – family and marital issues, emotional and behavioural issues, trauma-focused therapy for children and youths and financial difficulties. Call 64451500 for more information.
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