Covid19 Parenting is hard. Everyone has been home bound, working from home is challenging, online school has been an adventure and frustration and anger often surface. You may also have a smart struggling child — that just adds to the challenges.
Covid19 Parenting Can Sometimes Make You Want to Scream
In this article from the Child Mind Institute they discuss Coronavirus Parenting: Managing Anger and Frustration
We totally agree with this comment, “parents need to be extra conscious of their own big three: diet/nutrition, activity level and sleep”. This is true for all members of the family.
We want to cover three points to make Covid19 Parenting easier for you:
- Identify and reduce what triggered your child’s behavior that got you angry.
- Make sure everyone is getting the right diet, is being active and gets the right amount of sleep
- Be a role model for your child
One mom noticed that when her ADHD child was dehydrated or ate certain foods, behavior problems followed. She had read an article in Attitude Magazine on Research on Elimination Diets that showed positive benefits for 64% of the kids who followed an elimination diets — that is, removing foods that triggered inappropriate behavior. Mom commented, “I saw a positive change within 3 days” M Brown, Delray Beach.
We have physicians correctly say that there is not significant research on the subject of elimination diets. Our experience is that when a parent tracks what a child eats, notices what triggers behavior problems and then eliminates that food, behavior often improves.
Note, drinking water is even more important during the summer months.
Covid19 Parenting — Exercise, Sleep and Self-Control
Too many kids were staying inside for too long. When this happens, behavior challenges often follow. We know it is incredibly important to social distance and be smart, but exercise can be done in several ways.
- Youtube is a great source for exercise videos
- We have seen more kids both learning to ride bikes and biking around the neighborhood
- Do what works for your family and you
Too often when a child does not go to sleep, it is because they are not tired. Adding exercise to the equation can help.
Covid19 Parenting – Stay in Control
We had a client from New Jersey who reminded us that as parents, we too need to self regulate and own our own self-control. She said, “You taught my daughter how to control her frustration and I used the same concept on myself and it worked”.
The basic philosophy was for mom to stay calm. The first night her daughter acted out and the mom stayed calm. Her daughter asked her mom, “are you OK?”. The mom responded “I am fine” Within 2 minutes her daughter had calmed down. (We suggest she construct or draw a “frustration meter”– make it colorful, just some visual that reminds her of her level of frustration. Some like calling it a red zone, yellow and green zone– when your level starts creeping towards the red zone- you know it’s time to redirect!)
Mom tried it with her son and it worked so well, her son got an hour and a half assignment done in 30 minutes, even though he did get really frustrated 5 minutes in. She stayed calm and it took him less than 1 minute to recover. Calm models calm. No one wins the battle of who can out frustrate each other.
“I have tried staying calm for 90 days — and made it to 107 days! — even though I was a 4th generation “Screamaholic”. I then went to the driving range, took out my frustration hitting golf balls and got back in control.” Mark Halpert
The keys to success are to:
- Pause and stay in control
- Say “that is just like me” when you stay in control
- Say “that is not like me” when you lose control and find a positive outlet for your frustration. The driving range, a run, deep breathing, a punching bag or whatever works that is positive activity that does not involve anyone else.
We know that Covid19 parenting is hard — and we would love to hear ideas you have that have helped you cope during this time. Either post below, email us at email@example.com or give us a call at 561-361-7495.
You can also read this article about Covid19 Parenting Challenge with Reading and “How to Narrow or Close the Reading Gap.