Parenting presents many struggles as taking care of young ones introduces its responsibilities and trials. Now imagine having to look after the welfare of your child while in the middle of a pandemic! This is the reality that most parents face as Jamaica patiently waits its turn to obtain the vaccine and return to a sense of normalcy. Although it is a daunting task, here are several ways to help your youngsters cope in these uncertain times:


Get creative- Now is the perfect time to get creative! Plan fun activities such as games and arts and crafts projects to keep your kids occupied at home. Go further and incorporate some form of learning into these activities. Some of the best and most innovative ideas came from the brightest minds in the darkest of times. Who knows what your child can create and discover in these times?


Create routines- Structure the day with activities and other things to keep kids busy. Maintain these routines to give them some sense of normalcy and stability, especially in these crazy times.


Set the example- It is easy to feel stressed and overwhelmed but remember that kids need you for guidance and support in these times. You need to set the example and create a peaceful environment in the household. Practice deep breathing in stressful situations at home. Sometimes you will discover that your child mirrors your behaviour and takes a moment to pause and breathe. You and the kids can even practice yoga online to maintain that sense of peace and calm together!


Exercise together- Staying healthy matters in this pandemic, and exercise is the best way to maintain health. Exercising also helps with stress management and improves your mood….and should be included in your routine. Why not exercise outdoors with the kids as they too are eager to leave the house, even if it is for a short while.


Some space is needed- Bonding at home with your young one will hopefully happen during this pandemic as you both are home more often. Yet, it is ok to take some space from them every once in a while. It may even be beneficial for you both so your kid can do something fun while you take some much needed “me-time.”


Hugs do matter- Although social distancing prevents us from directly coming into contact with the virus, it also reduces the amount of care and social interaction that your kids used to receive regularly. Don’t be afraid to dole out those hugs and affection to your kids. They need it now more than ever.


Be honest but optimistic- Your children will have several questions and concerns about the virus. Answer them honestly and as best as you can while remaining optimistic about the situation. However, don’t make promises you can’t keep. A better response may be that “science is currently working on a cure” rather than “it will be over soon” when your child asks about the pandemic.


Monitor online activity and screen time- As classes and social activities have moved online, kids are more susceptible to online bullying and online predators. Protect your kids online by monitoring the sites that they visit and limiting the time they spent online.


Take care of yourself- Although you may be bogged down with additional responsibilities outside of taking care of the family, please take care of yourself as well. Take a few minutes in the day for yourself so that you can recharge and be of greater support to your family.


As we continue to navigate this new normal, so too do our children. Yet, kids are far more resilient than perceived, and we will all get through this together.