It’s no surprise that there are a plethora of parenting styles, thousands of parenting books, and contradicting opinions on raising kids.
Parenting is not a one-size fits all thing, and this was never more clear to me as in the last few weeks.
During these current strange and unprecedented times, I have had to change even my strongest parenting-style convictions.
At first, these changes were a blow to my ego. Just when I thought this parenting-thing was starting to make sense, I had to make pretty big adjustments.
These parenting-style adjustments are actually saving my sanity during quarantine. As parents, our most important quality is the ability to roll with the punches.
5 Sanity-Saving Adjustments
These 5 simple changes can help your family as a whole get through these odd and scary times, and provide an easier transition into this new normal.
1) Be a little more lax on screen-time rules
I know the expert recommendations on screen-time well. I’ve read them, even wrote about them, and followed them closely.
My past screen-time limits were made to benefit my kids and ease my mom guilt; however, this new normal has forced me to change my views.
With recent lifestyle changes, screen-time has become a lifesaver for my family. I am working from home full-time, so it allows me to get my work done.
My 8 year old has been connecting with his friends and cousins with his video games, which is helping him feel a little more normal during social distancing.
2) Give Your Kids Extra Responsibility
Giving your kids extra duties has a three-fold effect.
- It keeps them busy
- Teaches them to be a helpful part of the family
- Helps take pressure off of parents
Consider starting a chore chart and introduce your kids to age-appropriate chores.
When we put up a simple chore chart and started a reward system, crazy things happened in our home. Our kids were actually fighting over doing chores and eager to help out.
Learn all about our chore chart in this post- which includes a free, printable chore chart.
3) Trust your kids a little more
I wouldn’t say we are minimizing our supervision, but we are putting a little extra trust in our children.
They have had to grow up a little with the knowledge and fear that comes with these strange world changes, and I give them credit for how they are handling it.
I am allowing them to ride their bikes on our street, which is not heavily traveled right now. Also, I am giving the older kids more “babysitting” duties as they help out with my younger children.
Tell them what you expect from them. For example, “I expect every morning after breakfast you will brush your teeth on your own.”
This simple change is helping my husband and I get our work done, and also instilling independence in our children.
4) Prioritize outdoor time and family activities
Obviously follow your local social distancing guidelines; however, it is important to get some outdoor time in when possible.
If you can, go on a family walk, throw a ball, or sit outside and talk.
The simplest of family activities are priceless at a time like this. If you can’t go outside, trying connecting with your family in other screen-free ways:
- Play chirades
- Play a board-game
- Make silly videos
- Play “Would you rather?…”
- Have a dance party
Try some of these simple indoor activities that incorporate nature.
5) Show your kids love
Of course this is not specific to this “new” lifestyle, but it is more important than ever.
Make a point to make your kids feel special and loved, every single chance you get. If they walk by you, grab them for a hug. Tell them how you feel.
You have extra time in your day, so spend it cuddling with them.
Open up all lines of communication. If your child shows signs of stress, use these age-appropriate tips to comfort them.
Just because you may have to make some alterations to your parenting-style, it does not mean you were doing something wrong. As parents, our children need us to adjust to this new life, so that we can help them adjust.
These simple things can help save your sanity, while helping your children to transition through this weird time that we will remember forever.
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