Support for Parents

Living in the New “Norm”

Since the implementation of Movement Control Order (MCO), many lives have been impacted; and for most, the impact has been negative. These include in the areas of financial, social, physical as well as mental. All of us are affected by the shift in our “normal” routine.

This shift now includes: 

  1. Working from home
  2. Caring for your child as daycare centres are closed
  3. Supporting children in their online school lessons
  4. Managing house chores 
  5. and the list goes on. 

For all of us, to different degrees, stress and anxiety have caught up with us.

 

The previous lessons on Coping with the Pandemic have provided simplified guidelines and teaching strategies for parents to implement at home with their children. This lesson covers some support and encouragement for parents on coping with the stress of this pandemic. 

1. Acknowledgment

There is a fine line between being extremely pessimistic or being overly optimistic. The reality is that this is a global pandemic and it is extremely stressful – whether it is managing workload as well as children being at home or the constant monitoring of Covid-19 numbers and in general the negative and painful news we hear every single day. So step 1, let’s be real, this is a crisis situation. 

2. Structure

Keeping to a simple, non-rigid structure is a strategy that can help support everyone in this season as a family. In general, this structure can include regular daily routines and similar times of sleeping and waking up. 

3. Home Setup

Sharing workspaces and Internet connection at home every day can be frustrating after a while. If it is possible, try to discuss with family members about having different stations for work and study. Keeping these areas tidy and organised can help in having some order at home. 

4. Fill your tank

There are generally 4 personal tanks for everyone to fill up

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Spiritual 

 

When all tanks are depleted, one can get extremely exhausted. With the pandemic running over 18 months for us here in Malaysia, weekdays and weekends get blurred. Not to mention, no proper vacations as well. 

 

Therefore, scheduling in some down time on a daily basis like just to have some time for a proper bath, doing physical exercises, or listening to something relaxing, or watching a funny movie, praying & journaling.

 

These may sound difficult to implement but it is also critical to find a way. Some ways to achieve these include trying to put the children to bed so parents can have a bit of down time. Or allowing children to have some screen time, so parents can catch some respite. Or parents can take turns to watch the kids so the other can have a couple of hours to themselves? There is a way, but it won’t be sustainable without some regular strategy of filling your tank. 

5. Time for marriage

It may seem virtually impossible, but just trying to schedule a ‘date night’ even if it is just an hour or two after the children are in bed.  Parents can just order food in and just enjoy a conversation or a movie.