As Mother’s Day approaches this Sunday, I feel inspired by all the courageous moms, parenting during the Coronavirus crisis. Mothers have suddenly been thrust into full-time teaching roles, as schools closed. Normal support networks that provide childcare, like granny, churches, and even neighbors, are no longer available to lend a helping hand with the kids. Working moms face the struggle of juggling Zoom calls with home life if they still have a job. So how do moms stay sane while stuck at home with the kids in this environment? Parenting during the Coronavirus crisis has never been more challenging whether your children are infants, toddlers, school-aged, or teens. Being a mom of two teenage daughters myself, not only can I relate but I find myself in the same arena.
Do What Works for You
Every family is unique and requires different parenting strategies to thrive. While it can be tempting to compare yourself to other moms, resist this urge. Comparisons like these tend to make most people miserable. Give yourself permission to create your own plan to parent your children and survive day-to-day. Be kind to yourself if you make a plan that falls to pieces within an hour. All out of ideas? Turn to your inner circle of warrior moms for new ideas, or turn to the experts like Jane Nelson’s Positive Discipline principles (more below).
Take Care of Yourself
In order to care for others, you need to take care of yourself too. Parenting during Coronavirus requires patience with yourself and with your family. You cannot expect to face a house of screaming, fighting children if you have not slept well, are hungover, or have not replenished your emotional tank. Take care of the basics. Eat well, drink less, get exercise, and do one thing each day that gives you a sense of mastery, no matter how small a task (“yes, I can do that”).
Take some time to recharge–you will be role-modeling an important lesson for your children by taking care of your emotional health. What recharges you? A walk in the park, a quiet moment with a cup of tea, a drive in the car with thumping music, a chat with a friend, dancing, a nap? Whatever it is, make time for it and ask for help.
Focus on Solutions
When I face a parenting dilemma, I often turn to Jane Nelsen’s Positive Discipline strategies, especially “focusing on solutions”. As a solution-focused therapist, this approach appeals to me on a professional level, but I’ve seen how well it can work in my own personal life. Facing a parenting dilemma? First, ask yourself and your family “what is the problem”. Maybe the problem is biting or whining or not following through. Children are marvelous problem-solvers if you invite them to join you to solve the problem. They often have creative ideas for solving a problem. When you include them in the process, you are teaching them how to problem solve–a critical skill they will need throughout their lives. Follow Nelsen’s 3 R’s and an H as guidelines: Solutions must be 1) Related; 2) Respectful; 3) Reasonable; 4) Helpful.
Here are the steps:
- Identify the problem
- Brainstorm as many solutions as possible (without ruling out any)
- Pick one that works for everyone
- Try the solution for one week
- Evaluate the solution – did it work? If not, try another solution
For more positive discipline ideas, check out blogs on the Positive Discipline website here or order yourself a copy of her helpful books. Jane Nelsen has published editions relevant to each age group (preschoolers to teens), as well as my favorite Positive Discipline A to Z reference guide.
So for all you mothers out there, take a big breath, enjoy Mother’s Day, and know that you are not alone during this unusual time. You are all doing the best you can with what you have!
Begin Online Family Therapy:
If you find your family is struggling more than normal during these challenging times, consider online family therapy in Georgia. Wellveiw therapists can help you learn new parenting techniques and give you valuable tips to help you and your kids cope with Coronavirus changes. To begin online therapy in Georgia with Wellview Counseling, please follow these easy steps:
- Contact our Atlanta area counseling clinic to learn more about family therapy and set up an appointment,
- Meet with one of our friendly family therapists,
- Begin online family therapy in Georgia and see your relationships with your kids improve!
Other Services Offered at Wellview Counseling
Wellview counseling is a Rosewell GA mental health clinic which offers a variety of counseling services to help you or your loved ones find healing and growth. Their therapy services include play therapy, child counseling, individual counseling, social skills groups for kids, therapy for postpartum anxiety and depression, trauma and PTSD treatment, chronic illness counseling, family therapy, and positive discipline parent education opportunities. Right now, we are practicing social distancing and offering all our services online. Contact our Rosewell, GA mental health clinic to learn more about the many ways the counselors at Wellview Counseling can help your whole family during online therapy.
About the Author: Ashley Bobo, LCSW
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