If you missed the webinar last Friday 3 Parenting Tools to Help You Parent in the Trenches of COVID-19, here’s the replay for you: webinar.
Everyone is talking about how we can look at this crisis as an opportunity to grow and about the importance of not wasting it.
I’m guessing that those encouragements are not resonating with many parents because most of them are probably in survival mode and simply don’t have the energy to do much more than that.
Quite honestly, I think parents have one of the biggest challenges in all of this. Having the kids around 24/7, trying to get work done at home, AND helping children get all their schoolwork done–all while dealing with their own inner anxiety and worry.
But in those quiet moments–when the kids are busy with school work or are playing, when they are sleeping, or in the morning before you leave your bed–I would encourage you to do a little self-introspection.
When you do, I think you will discover some things about yourself that could help you become a better parent through all this. Here’s what you might see:
You will see some things about yourself that you may or may not like.
Here’s the thing about being in a crisis. Whatever was a problem before the crisis becomes an even bigger problem IN the crisis. Hard seasons magnify even the smallest problems.
If you found yourself getting impatient and yelling at your children before the quarantine, then that most likely has gotten worse in the quarantine.
So the question you must ask yourself is this: What are you noticing about yourself that may have been there before the quarantine but that you hadn’t paid much attention to and are now seeing as a problem?
You will want to do better but struggle to motivate yourself to do so because you are in a basic survival mode.
Maybe you know what you need to work on as a parent, but just don’t have the energy to follow through. It’s enough of a challenge to get the kids doing their school work, keep them from beating each other up, and get your own work done as well.
So, here’s what I suggest. If you see something that you’d like to work on, but just feel like now is not the time to worry about it, take a few minutes to write it down. That’s your first step. Sometimes just clarifying it to yourself is the best first step you can take.
What do you see in yourself that you don’t like or wish you could do better?
You can be intentional about parenting growth in this season, even if it’s only baby steps.
If the best first step is just to recognize something you’d like to improve in your parenting, then the next best step is to pinpoint one small thing you can work on and then do it.
For instance, let’s say you hate it when your kids leave their toys all over and you come into a room, find a mess, and resort to yelling at them to clean it up. What’s one small step you can take to improve your reaction in that situation?
Maybe it’s taking a deep breath, counting to ten, or maybe it’s just walking away from the mess and coming back later when you’re calm. Whatever that little step is for you, take it. Growth as a parent happens one step at a time.
In the time you have left in quarantine, what is one thing that you can try to do better?
I truly believe that this time of family time concentration can reap huge rewards as parents are forced to deal with things that were easy to neglect or ignore when life was “normal.” I encourage you to come out of this season a better parent and a stronger family and not let things return to the normal we once knew.
If you’d like help figuring out what you want your new normal to be, I’m offering free coaching until April 30. Please schedule a call here.