5 Takeaways From This Much-Needed Virtual Event
I was honored to join Dr. Harvey Karp and Karolina Kurkova for Good Housekeeping’s “We Are Family Parenting Summit.” We sat down with Mara Schiavocampo to discuss Parenting Through a Pandemic and, no matter how many times I touch on this topic, I always walk away feeling like I’ve learned something new.
If you missed it, you can catch the entire summit here and I’m sharing a few of the helpful tips that were touched on during our segment.
Having 3 children under the age of 3 makes the pandemic challenging enough, but when Russell had to be away for months at a time, it was difficult on our entire family. Luckily Skype and FaceTime allowed Noah and the girls to interact with their dad which was super helpful for us! Whether it’s having him “join us for dinner” or watching the kids while I quickly run upstairs, we most definitely leaned on technology to keep us all connected.
Take Breaks and Head Outside
I loved the idea of trying to balance out screen time with time spent outside. Step away from the computers and TVs and go for a bike ride, take a walk, or just sit outside on the terrace. Dr. Karp suggests engaging in sensory experiences, like digging in the dirt or working on art projects, which makes me happy because our family loved has loved spending time gardening during the pandemic.
Refill and Refuel
We all know that if you aren’t taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else. But engaging in self-care during a pandemic can be difficult to say the least. It could be a bath or time spent getting creative. No matter what it is, assess your day and figure out when you can carve out time for you. For example, I wake up before my children do so that I can spend some time answering emails in peace. I also try to schedule important calls during their nap times so that I’m not juggling too much at one time. It’s all about being adaptable and making it work, but we still need to find time to do the things we love most.
Communicate and Establish Routines
When the days blur together, kids tend to stay up later, wake up later, and schedules in general are just off. For most, that’s manageable and if there has ever been a time to give ourselves a break, now would be it. But I loved the gentle suggestion from Dr. Karp that adhering to certain routines can be helpful for younger children who can’t tell time because it allows them a sense of control over what will happen during their day.
On a similar note, children can sometimes feel a lack of control in situations like the one we’re facing now. They might miss their friends and family or might be worried that someone they love could get sick. These concerns can sometimes come to the surface as difficulty sleeping or even behavioral issues. Do your best to communicate with your children on their level. And if all else fails, grab lots of lovies and snuggle up together – we could all use a little extra love right now.
Shift Your Perspective
Although this has been a difficult time, Mara mentioned the saying “we’re not stuck at home, we’re safe at home,” and that is such an important reminder. Those of us who are lucky enough to be in a protected space with the people we love most can use this time for growth and reflection. My kids are helping out around the house, we’re making juice together, driving down to the beach, and soaking up quality time we may not have had otherwise. It’s nothing we ever could have expected but it’s also time I would never want to give back.
I hope these takeaways have been helpful and that you enjoy more from Good Housekeeping’s We are Family Parenting Summit. What have you learned about parenting through a pandemic? Leave me a note below!