Dealing with Parenting Challenges during the Pandemic

Susan Albers, PsyD, has advice on when to stand firm and how to pick your battles when it comes to kids and household rules during the pandemic.

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CLEVELAND – Parenting during the pandemic can be stressful.

Many kids are learning from home and you may be working from home too.

So, how do you cope with all these new changes while trying to keep the same rules you had before?

“There is no rulebook or handbook on quarantine parenting,” said Susan Albers, PsyD, of Cleveland Clinic.  “Often, parents look to their parents for a style of what to do, or what not to do, but no one has been through this experience, so they don’t have that role model of how to parent during this time.”

Dr. Albers has some tips to help relieve that stress.

She says for starters – pick your battles and make a list of issues and rules that are most important.

And speaking of rules – she says make sure you’re being consistent. Otherwise, your children may think they can bend them when they want.

Another tip – be a good role model. Kids are constantly observing, so if they see you neglecting your own responsibilities, they may try to do the same.

Finally – don’t be afraid to say no.

“We’ve all struggled during the pandemic, so it’s easy to say, ‘Oh, have that extra cookie or stay up an extra hour.’ But, right now, it’s really important to stay firm to your rules and expectations and not try and soothe them with bending the rules,” said Dr. Albers.

Dr. Albers knows it can be overwhelming, so don’t be too hard on yourself.

She adds you may also want to talk with other parents to see what’s working for them.

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