10 Tilts for Managing Your Parenting Life During the Coronavirus Pandemic
We’re all going through what we’re going through. And I know for many in our community, these disruptions to routines and schooling and activities and LIFE can be especially challenging. I thought I’d share some ideas and resources that you might find helpful as you and your family navigate this fluid situation. Here goes:
• Watch your energy: I said this a few weeks ago, but it warrants a repeat. Our kids soak in our anxiety and worry and respond accordingly. Be conscious of when and how you talk about what’s happening in the world, and do your own internal work so you don’t stoke their anxious responses.
• Be vigilant about self-care: Now more than ever we need to tend to our emotional and mental well-being. Get out for walks, read books that inspire, listen to music that uplifts, exercise if you’re healthy, journal, etc. And model active self-care for your kids at the same time.
• Recharge with a podcast: I’ve put together a playlist of 13 podcast episodes to help you stay grounded and inspired during these unsettling times, including conversations on mindfulness, coping with uncertainty, staying calm in difficult moments, self-care, and more. You can find the playlist here.
• Tap into homeschool resources for kids home from school: Some of my favorite virtual places for kids to learn and play online safely are: BrainPop, Khan Academy, Crash Course videos, Kurzgesagt, TED-ED, Kids Discover Online, and Duolingo.
• Get out in nature: With social distancing the new norm and many regions closing down large gathering spaces, it’s more important than ever to get out in nature if you have access to it. Visit a garden or a park, go for hikes, get your garden ready for spring, and get some Vitamin D via the sun when you have a chance.
• Ease up on screen time vigilance: For parents with strict screen time rules for their kids, extra time at home (and time where adults might be working and busy doing other things) can create stress when trying to adhere to those same limitations. Consider loosening the rules if the cost of not doing so is your sanity or your family’s well-being.
• Be kind to yourself and others: While our personal circumstances are impacted in different ways—spring break plans out the window, financial stressors, heightened anxiety or depression, and more—everyone is feeling the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Remember to be gentle with yourself, and everyone you interact with, as we take this day by day.
• Keep your eyes open for the gifts: Even in the midst of this, there are bright spots to be found. Find ways to embrace and be present with what is—have extra movie nights, set up a living room picnic, break out the puzzles and games, dig out the art supplies from the closet, create a family photo album, clean out a closet, bake scones or muffins, exercise together.
• Tap into communities that support you: Now more than ever, lean in to your communities of other parents with differently wired kids for support, camaraderie, inspiration, trouble-shooting, and sharing what’s hard. Whatever you might be feeling right now—overwhelm, fear, anxiety—you are not alone. We’ve got you. Start with the Tilt Together group on Facebook.
• Connect with loved ones often: Text, call, and Facetime the people you love. Check in. Ask what they need. Ask for what you need.
Lastly, our friends at Understood have put together a wonderful resource for parents specifically centered around the coronavirus, including tips for how to talk to kids, where to find resources when school is closed, and more. You can find that resource here.
I hope this is useful, and please feel free to share with others who might need this.
Sending love to you and your family from mine.