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‘School is Out! – Survival Kit for Families’

Oh how life has changed dramatically in these times of the corona virus.

It’s demanding, emotional and undoubtedly overwhelming for many. If you are the mom in the family, odds are that most of this labor is falling in your lap. In general, every family will experience common challenges. Here is a mini survival kit for when we have to stay at home.

  • Manage the feelings and anxiety

The act of parenting, or parenting well at least, requires some baseline anxiety.

What makes coronavirus anxiety so much worse, is its potential for disruption of our daily routines combined with a deeper uncertainty about how it will all play out.

How long will our kids be out of school? How will we get our work done? And this goes for parents with paid employment, as well as those who stay home. Managing kids and a house is work in itself but additional worries about the future is quite stressful. Every individual ought to find a way to manage their anxiety. Try to engage the family is calming exercises or activities such as breathing exercises, playing soothing music in the background, dancing sessions, family game time – use what works for your family setup.

  • Try to remain positive

There is a lot of cognitive frustration at this time. There’s a general feeling of helplessness. Most people are probably prone to questioning or just having a general negativity towards the government efforts.

It may be worth trying to take breaks from the news if it causes you distress, and put your own family’s risk in perspective. This is far from easy but we need to try anyway.

In a scary world, it is important for parents to protect their mental health, because kids can be traumatized by a parent’s anxiety. Try to remain positive and appreciate the efforts put in place to safeguard us.

  • Create a sense of order amid the chaos

While all kids are feeling nervous to some degree, those whose schools are canceled are likely to be extra unsettled. Kids thrive on stability and routine. When it goes away, it is up to parents to model how to cope at home.

To survive, we all need to both commit ourselves to some sense of order, and at the same time, yield to the chaos.

Parents, do what you need to lower your stress levels, whether it is carving out alone time or exercise time. Maybe you can ease up on your television and video game policy or accept the power of rewards to help you kids comply. Create some structure that you can realistically commit to and on most days, achieve, and importantly, make sure you are enjoying parts of it.

  • Teamwork makes the dream work – Share the ’emotional labor’

The threat of the coronavirus has made managing family life a much bigger job. Chores are likely to increase since everyone is spending time indoors. Odds are, moms are taking on more of this emotional and domestic labor. Use this opportunity to share this inevitable labor. Let the kids help around the house. Activities should not only revolve around academics. Where possible, allow some outdoor time to get fresh air such as on balconies or individual gardens. Take advantage of deserted streets to take brisk walks.

  • We’re in this together

The pandemic has affected people all over the world regardless of gender, social status, age or race. At the heart of information flooding social media and world news, is the need to stop the spread of the virus. Being at home is one way of social distancing hence helping each other stay safe. Encourage your household and others to practice good hygiene through regular thorough hand washing and self-awareness. Be kind – follow credible advice as recommended by our government Health agencies to help curb the spread.

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