The pandemic situation has arguably been a stressful time for everyone. As the entire family has been left with little choice but to stay indoors, continuing to have a positive outlook may seem to be difficult. Some parents may not have been able to practice positive parenting during COVID-19. But it’s quite important to be mindful of doing this since the current circumstances may be taking a toll on their children.
Adopting a more positive approach to parenting in the midst of a pandemic doesn’t have to be impossible. As long as you know these simple, yet meaningful techniques, then you’ll already be on your way.
Your children may become more irritable during the pandemic and it’s not a mystery as to why. If they’re very social, then the inability to meet their friends and do things they were able to do before the quarantine can put a strain on their mood. When this spills into the household, you may find yourself having to scold them more often or berate them for acting like difficult children.
Being more kind and gentle to your child may be difficult, but doing this on a more consistent basis can help you form a habit of being patient with them. If they’ve done something wrong, instead of berating them, calmly let them know how to avoid making the same mistake the next time around.
Take a few hours for some quiet time such as reading a book, watching a television series, or working on a hobby. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. This quality time that you spend alone might be just what you need in re-energizing yourself and getting back on track with properly taking care of your children.
Most, if not all parents, find it a challenge to get their children to do some chores around the house. Especially during a pandemic where the house may be in much more disarray than usual, cleaning and maintaining might have to be done more regularly.
An effective way to get them to do this is by practicing positive reinforcement. Set up a system of rewards for the chores that they are able to do well and consistently.
In the process, they’ll be learning important life skills that they’ll be bringing with them into adulthood. Likewise, they’d be able to associate chores and errands with something positive, if done on a more consistent basis.
Praising your children is also part of what it means to engage them in positive reinforcement.
Let’s go back to the example above. After they’ve done their chores, it’s good for them to hear words of encouragement for doing a good job. As always, praise should be done in moderation — it’s all about finding the right balance between being nitpicky and correcting their mistakes, and giving out proper credit where it is due.
Finally, positive parenting is all about having a healthy and happy relationship with your children. This cannot be done if you just leave them to their devices. Instead, use this period as an opportunity to get closer to them by spending a few moments of safe, yet productive bonding in the outdoors.
If you have a spacious backyard garden at your home, you can do activities like gardening, planting, or simple watering of the plants. You can share some interesting facts about plants while you’re doing this. If that may not really be your cup of tea, then there’s nothing wrong with being creative about it — the most important thing is that both you and your child are able to spend meaningful moments where you can both understand each other better.
Positive parenting during COVID-19 is all about having a happier relationship with your child. As mentioned before, to say that this situation is “stressful” is underestimating it— and on many occasions, negative emotions can find themselves seeping into the household and affecting you and your children’s moods.
Better parenting during a pandemic can be done through simple techniques such as being more gentle, being more mindful of your mental health, engaging in safe outdoor activities, and practicing positive reinforcement on your children.