How to deal with parenting challenges during pandemic

Susan Albers, PsyD, of Cleveland Clinic, says, for starters, pick your battles and make a list of issues and rules that are most important. (Cleveland Clinic News Service)

Parenting during the coronavirus pandemic can be stressful.

Many children 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.”

Albers has some tips to help relieve that stress.

For starters, she says, 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. Children 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 Albers.

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.