Fatherhood is challenging, but this is getting tested more in the COVID-19 global pandemic. With the uncertainties piling up more and more these trying times, a lot of stressors emerge. These include worries on how to generate income, where to buy groceries, how to maximize a work from home setup, and more. However, the greatest challenge is on how to support your children amid COVID-19.
This situation might be a little difficult for fathers, but psychologists revealed various strategies on how to go about this. Here are some of them:
Stick To A Routine
Whether you’re the type of father who goes to work early morning or is a stay-at-home dad, then make sure to stick with your routine. If you wake up at six in the morning and eat breakfast at eight, continue doing that. What’s the reason behind this?
According to experts, a child needs a structure. Therefore, even if things are not on their usual course right, you, as a father, should ensure that their worlds don’t lead to a full stop. If you think that it’s impossible and unhealthy to stick with your ‘normal’ routine, then create a new one. You can put up a schedule for the day for every family member, but make sure that everything is balanced.
You should include a timeslot where your kids are not allowed to play with any technological device. Set aside time as well in connecting with their friends. You may be able to achieve this with them talking to one another using mobile phones or any other video call platform. These practices are vital so that they won’t fully detach themselves from reality.
Set An ‘Us’ Time
During difficult times like these, children need extra love and attention. They need reassurance that there are people around them who will support them in trying times like this. As a father, it is your responsibility to listen to their worries, and speak kindly on how they can address this. Do not be too negative about the situation. These are kids who are not yet ready to face the cruels of the world, so make sure that you don’t establish an environment like that.
Your ‘Us’ time can also be a space for you to tackle the nitty-gritty of coronavirus. It does not mean that you should dwell on the negatives; instead, focus on answering questions geared on your kid’s age level. Do not mention technical terms connected to the sickness. Focus more on explaining the concept using layman’s terms. It will give your kid a chance to learn more about the current event and correct whatever wrong information he or she has acquired.
Create Positive Distractions
Processing emotions as a child is a little complicated and challenging. They are a bit sensitive; therefore, it is your role as a father to handle it properly. Imposing positive distractions, such as dinner nights, board game nights, movie nights, cooking meals together, and more, will allow kids to relieve from the stress they are feeling.
Make sure not to rely too much on gadgets as positive distractions. Too much time on the internet will only lead to more confusion and anxiety to your kids, especially when they keep on reading and seeing negative news regarding the pandemic.
Manage Your Own Emotions
“Parents, of course, are anxious too and our kids will take emotional cues from us,” shares Dr. Lisa Damour, Ph.D., an expert adolescent psychologist, New York Times columnist, and best-selling author. “I would ask parents to do what they can to manage their anxiety in their own time and to not overshare their fears with their children. That may mean containing emotions, which may be hard at times, especially if they’re feeling those emotions pretty intensely.”
Whenever your kids see that you are getting anxious and scared, they’ll also share the same feeling. Your feelings of trouble will carry over to their emotions. As a dad, it is your responsibility to be reliable, not only for your kids but for your whole family as well.
Admit or not, we are in uncharted territory. Keeping life going during the pandemic might be a little challenging for everyone. Keep in mind, however, that a father should be a pillar in these trying times. Once you accomplish this, everything will follow.