Living during a pandemic is hard as hell, but parenting during all this? Phew. It’s not for the faint of heart. And the longer it chugs on, the harder it is. I think we’d all had hoped it would be over by now but here we are. So as your Fort Collins parenting coach, I’m here to give you some practical tips to parent well during one of the hardest times in our lives.
First, let me be the very first to tell you, you’re doing a great job parents. This isn’t easy and we weren’t made to spend this much time away from our support systems. Just showing up for your partner, kids, and job is a lot and you’re doing it every day! As a Fort Collins parenting coach, I have seen first-hand how parents all around us have risen to the occasion and are doing a fantastic job, given the circumstances.
And, if you’re reading this blog, that must mean you care which is the most important thing.
As your Fort Collins parenting coach, here are my best tips for parenting during a pandemic:
- Give grace! The single most important piece of advice I can give you is to give yourself and everyone around you lots and lots of extra grace. This is way harder than normal life and we’re all going to show signs of pressure. Don’t sweat the small stuff and be quick to forgive.
- Get outside! As simple as it sounds, it’s true. By going outside and getting some fresh air, you’d be amazed by how this simple thing can reset your day. Head to the park, take a walk, and enjoy nature. If you’re looking for something new to try, check out this list of great outdoor spaces in Northern Colorado.
- Stick to your routine! As easy as it is to slip into bad habits during this time, it’s important to keep your kids’ routine the same. Stick to their bedtime and don’t bend your normal rules. Hold your boundaries firm. Kids do so much better with structure, so even though it’s tempting, don’t slip.
- Love your kids extra hard! This is hard on our kids, too. They miss their friends, doing normal activities, and seeing their extended families. I know it feels hard to give and give more, but your kids could probably really use some extra love these days. Try to hug your kids more often and really lean into them during this time.
- Address your kids’ fears! No matter how big or little your children are, this is a scary time for them, too. And chances are good they don’t understand all of this very well. Explain what’s happening in simple terms. Let them ask questions and address their fears. Be truthful, but also recognize their feelings. Model how to process those feelings and give them space to express themselves.
- Take care of yourself, too! You can’t pour into your children and partner from an empty bucket. Make sure you’re communicating your needs to your spouse and getting the breaks you need. Self-care isn’t all bubble baths and wine (or is it about the wine?), it’s also giving yourself permission to rest and recharge. If you’re noticing that your fuse is short, it’s probably a good indicator that you need more sleep or self-care. Pay attention to your own irritability.
- Keep perspective! I know this is easier said than done, but this will end and you will survive. Your kids are resilient and they’ll be okay. As I like to say, this too shall pass.
As your Fort Collins parenting coach, I’m here for you. If you need extra support or just someone to help you through the day to day, I’d love to be that person for you. I offer non-judgmental, helpful parenting coaching sessions that will give you the tools you need to make it through some of the hardest phases of life, including this one.