Happy Mother’s Day to all the incredible moms out there! There’s no arguing that COVID-19 has forced many of us to shift our daily lives into a new normal way of living – and holidays are no exception.
This Mother’s Day 2020, we’re sharing Tips On Parenting Through the COVID-19 Pandemic from Dr. Hina Talib, who is proudly a mother herself.
Dr. Hina Talib is a Board Certified Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine Specialist who cares for tweens, teens & young adults and their families in New York City.
With training from Brown University and Cornell University, Dr. Talib is a COVID-19 fighter in New York City and shared with Wholy Dose tips on parenting during this pandemic that is affecting not only adults, but also kids and teenagers.
A Note From Dr. Hina Talib
“Mothers, please remember that we can't pour from a cup that is empty. And I have been hearing about a lot of empty cups, as children, partners, families, and work are prioritized. The struggle has also been real for children who are separated from their routines and friends. Children and teens are grieving the loss of rites of passage, like graduation, summer jobs or camps.
Emotions are running high, reserve is running low and this is happening to almost all families in some way as we settle in for the long-haul. Here are some tips to help you center yourself and support your children during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.”
Tips on Parenting Through the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic: Mother’s Day Edition
1. Create a Structure for the Day
Routines are comforting to children, they offer predictability in these uncertain times. Identify physical spaces for these activities: bed is for sleep, desk is for work, kitchen table is for family meals etc.
2. Validate Yourself and Your Kids' Emotions
Validation lightens the load , feels so good and can dissipate the majority of of tantrums (in grown ups or kids). Be mindful about accepting and sitting with emotions and asking "okay, whats next?"
3. Share the Load
Ask your partner for help with specific tasks or a 30 minute break. Engage your kids in household chores and meal prep. Try using positive language by telling others what you want to see, instead of saying “Don't do that”.
4. Check Your Own Anxiety First, Then Address It in Your Children
Be open with your kids about the uncertainty regarding the virus and evolving measures to protect ourselves. Limit intake of news and exposure of kids to your own processing of anxiety. Create space for worry such as family check ins or through journaling.
5. Be What You Want to See
Model self-care by practicing mindfulness, get your body moving (yoga, exercise), encourage healthy eating, sleep and exercise habits as a family, and practice what you preach about screen time.
6. Create New Family Traditions
Help your family engage in fun and meaningful ways, that reflect. Don’t underestimate things like movie night. Lean into suggestions from all family members, so it's not another task on you and you get more buy in.
7. Practice Gratitude With Your Family
Gratitude has shown to increase happiness and the effect is stronger the more you do it. Share one thing you're grateful for that your kids did each week (sticky notes or gratitude jars work well for this). Write a gratitude letter to a family member, relative, teacher, or other influential person in your life.
8. Cultivate an Outward Focus With Your Family
Discuss what you as a family can do to support an elderly relative, a neighbor, someone in the communityDiscuss and address stigma and potential injustices occurring Send some love to an essential worker.
9. Physically Distant Does Not Mean Social Distant
Validate feelings of isolation and disappointment related to public health measures. Make time to connect with friends and family outside of your shelter-at-home bubble, but only if it helps. Help kids connect in creative ways with social-media or video-conferencing for remote learning, joint activities like yoga, movie-song, art/song making, sports practice.
10. You Are Not Alone
If something truly feels out of balance for yourself or kids, please know that you are not alone and ask for help. Your doctors, pediatricians, mental health physicians are all available by tele-health, if not in person, to help you.
A big thank you to Dr. Hina Talib for sharing those helpful tips with us for this Mother’s Day! You can find Dr. Talib on Instagram @teenhealthdoc and follow along more of her teen health, parenting, and mental health & wellness tips.