Pandemic Parenting - Top 10 Tips

Like all parents, 2 months ago my world got thrown upside down with the reality of having to homeschool 2 young children while working full time!

It's definitely not been easy, but guess what?... 2 months on and we're all surviving! The kids may not have learnt any new times tables! And my husband and I often spend time working after the kids are in bed. But… We now have a family dinner EVERY night (which never used to happen) and last week my girls scored me a 9 out of 10 for being a good mum/teacher! #winning (It had been a particularly good day!)

Recently I was interviewed by Donna Elliott on the topic of 'pandemic parenting', and I wanted to share with you all my top tips. You can also watch the 30 minute interview on YouTube here.

Tip 1. Organise, diarise but be realistic

My husband and I send each other meeting invites so we know who is 'in charge' of the kids, it helps us to be organised, but we also know that we won't stick to it every day - and that's ok!

Tip 2. Sticker charts/Visual aid

My girls are 6 & 9 and respond well to a good old fashioned sticker chart! We have a simple schedule printed including maths, English, reading, spellings etc and they get to tick off when they've completed each.

Tip 3. You can only control yourself, not each-other. Write down 3 things you can each commit to

After one particularly difficult day, we each wrote down 3 things we could do in order to make the house happier. It helped us reflect on what we could control personally to keep the peace! My commitments were: no nagging, no shouting and keep calm and I think I lasted for 3 whole hours! :)

Tip 4. Gratitudes

This is my favourite change we've made since lockdown - most nights at dinner we go round the table saying what we're grateful for. Some days we'll say just one or 2 things and other days the list goes on!

Tip 5. Be stricter on the things you can control. Delegate

Personally I've been looking at meetings where I'm supposed to be joining along with my team mates or direct reports. If I don't think I'd add value but am there more to listen then I'll ask someone else to send me notes after the meeting rather than duplicate attendance.

Tip 6. Prioritse! Give yourself permission not to do everything

It's important to recognise that you can't join every meeting, respond to every email, be there 100% of the time for your kids and do everything on your to do list! I've always been good at prioritising but I've had to take it to a whole new level recently! What is critical? What needs to happen today? And what can wait / be pushed back on?

Tip 7. Be honest and open with others. Don't suffer in silence

It's amazing when you share your troubles with your friends how many people are, infact, going through the exact same thing! It's good to talk! Share your concerns and don't believe that anyone else is nailing it all right now!

Tip 8. Have fun together!

Whether it's playing dodgeball with the kids (aka throwing balls at them while they run around laughing!) or making TikTok videos to become the next TikTok sensation @tararule123 in case you're wondering!  Use this time as an opportunity to have some fun!

Tip 9. There is no right answer. Every one has an opinion. Work out what works for YOU and YOUR FAMILY

I've always believed that with parenting you have to find what's right for your family - there is no 'right' answer. Listen to different ideas and do what works for you!

Tip 10. Be mindful and present about how you want your children to feel

My final tips comes from one of best friends Jacqui - we've all heard that when it comes to bosses, we remember how they made us feel not what they did and it's the same for a pandemic! Our kids will remember how they felt - not about what they learnt during homeschooling!

Not all of these will work for you, but which are the ones that you can try with your family to make pandemic parenting that tiny bit easier for you and your family?

Check out my 30 minute interview on YouTube here.


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