Re-assessing your parenting style: The COVID-19 pandemic that took the world by storm has left an impact on every aspect of one’s life, forcing them to unlearn and re-learn patterns that formed over the years.
What transpired during the long months of lockdown and the seemingly uncertain days ahead have taught us important lessons that we will continue to take forward in the years to come. Online classes, juggling multiple roles and meeting deadlines on a personal and professional front has altered the nature of parenting forever, with the basic routines having to undergo a massive overhaul.
Primary caregivers, in most cases, were mothers who had to let go of their usual routine go above and beyond to accommodate the changes in the child’s life. The changes included virtual classes, hyperactive children and online activities. Keeping the kids entertained, catering to them coping with the new world while health and hygiene took precedence, was now of prime importance.
With mounting demands and unending chores, the pandemic reiterated that parenting was a shared responsibility at every step of the way. Fathers pitched in more than usual and shouldered more responsibilities than ever before while ensuring the household ran like a well-oiled machine. Being cooped up at home, children and parents witnessed issues with their mental well-being that was difficult to fathom.
With mounting demands and unending chores, the pandemic reiterated that parenting was a shared responsibility at every step of the way.
While parents tried to stay strong for their children, the worry and anxiety got the better of even the strongest of them. Limited social interactions and a general lack of routine for younger children resulted in parents trying innovative methods to keep them occupied and away from gadgets and other electronic devices, which were the only respite during most days. Spending long hours with kids’ ensured parents set a routine while sharing chores to keep their children occupied.
The pandemic paved the way for parenting styles to be re-assessed. The intent was to ensure children feel emotionally secure while giving them a sense of independence while accepting their unique personality traits. As children learn to cope with uncertainty in the best possible way, an effective parenting tool is to listen without judgement. Present-day parenting suggests allowing children to discover their unique personalities. Parents have to become receptive to unconventional ways of looking at the actions of their children and asses situations pragmatically whilst dealing with them.
Striking a balance between productivity without overburdening children with activities is imperative. Parents have to become increasingly flexible and understanding of their kid’s bandwidth. Listen to children will all your senses and gauge their reaction to everything with an open mind. The overall impact of the pandemic has had a deep impact on the minds of children across age groups. Toddlers, adolescents and teenagers have had to cope with a lot of mental and emotional stress during this time. As they traverse to find ways to get back to their routine and the life they once knew, the role of parents will be to ensure they receive adequate emotional security. Parenting as we know it has changed during the pandemic, and roles have reversed between parents. This has also played a pivotal role in helping new parents establish a more practical and healthier parenting style that is conducive to the physical, emotional and holistic well-being of their children.
Dr Pallavi Rao Chaturvedi is an educationist & parenting coach and social influencer. The views expressed are the author’s own.