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Navigating New Routines

Hi! It's me again,

I worked for a community agency for a period of time working with parents on parenting strategies. The program that I was trained in is called Triple P (Positive Parenting Program). Here is a list of tips on parenting with during uncertain times from Triple P as well as my own tid-bits of information.

I realize that we are reaching the end of our quarantine, but that does not mean that life will just go back to "pre coronoa virus normal." To be quite frank, it most likely will never go back to that time. I do not say this as a pessimist or a conspirator, I say this because in our lifetime, this experience has never happened before. Similar to other life altering events, there was like before corona virus and life after. We are all going to be learning a new normal together.

So, in putting forth these tips from Triple P, realize that we are still in an uncertain time. There is no deadline or limit on the social anxiety or uncertainty of what the future holds. Think about when it is time to actually send your children back to school after having them home for all spring and summer. While you might be temporarily doing a back flip in your mind, how do you know that the classroom is getting as a clean as you keep your home, or if someone else is checking their child's temperature before sending them to school. The short of it is, we don't know those things. This is uncertainty.

1. Reassure your children that your family is your top priority

  • Honest and age appropriate conversations about the current state of the world, how it affects schools and jobs and how you know this

  • Talk about what plans and safety protocol is in place for your family (ex; only daddy goes to the store, hand washing, not playing in parks or going places to play)

  • Engage your children in ways they can help, give age appropriate responsibilities

  • Allow opportunity for children to express their concerns and fears, address what they have heard

2. Maintain everyday family routines

  • Keep usual bedtimes and mealtimes

  • When planning for the next day, include your children

  • Are you worried about negotiating school-focused time? Sandwich it in between activities they are looking forward to

  • Establish rules for “work time” and rules for “play time” together

  • Decide on rewards for good behaviors and consequences for misbehavior

  • Continue creating memories and developing good relationships with your children

  • Spend quality time

3. Have plenty of interesting things to do at home

  • Create a list of activities that your children enjoy and make them a part of the list

4. Take notice of behaviors you like

  • Encourage good behaviors

  • Praise

  • Give attention

5. Make sure your children know that you are ready to talk

  • Validating a child’s feelings

  • Avoid telling your child how they should feel

  • If a child has difficulty expressing their feelings through words, consider drawing or playing; bearing witness to their feelings

6. Be truthful in answering children’s questions

7. Have a family plan of action

  • Talk about what plans and safety protocol is in place for your family (ex; only daddy goes to the store, hand washing, not playing in parks or going places to play)

8. Help children learn to tolerate more uncertainty

  • Empower them through acts of service (safely)

  • Communicate with regular updates that are age appropriate

  • Remember that children are listening and observing even when we think that they are not

  • Education on self-care

9. Take care of yourself the best you can

  • Stress management

  • Daily routine for self-care

  • Avoid behaviors that induce or increase anxiety and stress

  • Communicate with loved ones

  • Sleep

  • Limit your news intake

10. Reach out and connect with loved ones

  • Set virtual hang outs

  • Make regular phone calls

  • Send letters

For more information on Triple P, please see the link below

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