Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

Parenting During Coronavirus: Help Your Family Stick Together and Work Through Tough Emotions

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Stick together as a family like this bundle of sticks.
Before we could set goals, routines, and fun activities for the weeks ahead, we needed to unpack the burdens of our hearts. We needed to remind each other that we are going to make it. My family is, and so is yours.

When COVID-19 (coronavirus) first ramped up, two weeks at home with my husband and kids sounded exciting, cozy — a great way to reconnect. But now that the timeline is extending, it just seems like an overwhelming challenge. One question seems to be at the top of our minds for adults and kids: How are we going to make it?

As a mom and licensed counselor, I get it. That first weekend, my family came through the door weighed down with schoolwork and work-from-home tools; we were ready to put on our game faces and get busy. But one honest look into each other’s eyes told the real story: The truly heavy loads in our backpacks and briefcases were questions, worries, and unfamiliar feelings.

Before we could set goals, routines, and fun activities for the weeks ahead, we needed to unpack the burdens of our hearts. We needed to remind each other that we are going to make it. My family is, and so is yours.

The main message every family member needs to hear right now is simple: You’re not alone. We’ll get through this together and we can come out the other side even stronger than when we went in.

Give the following suggestions some thought as you parent during coronavirus,  navigate uncharted territory, and nurture peaceful, unified hearts.

Activity: Stick Together

Remind each other of your family bond and reinforce God’s truth: “One person could be overpowered. But two people can stand up for themselves. And a rope made out of three cords isn’t easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12, NIrV).

  1. Have everyone race out to the yard and choose a small tree stick or twig. (No yard? Bamboo chopsticks, wooden popsicle sticks, or blunt-tipped shish kabob skewers will work!)
  2. Come back in and sit around the table or in a circle on the floor. Ask each person to break their stick into as many pieces as they want, then set the pieces in the middle of the circle. (Help your smallest kiddos so that splinters don’t spoil the fun.)
  3. Have Mom or Dad bundle all the pieces and tie them together with string, yarn, ribbon, craft pipe cleaner — whatever you have on hand.
  4. Starting with the youngest, let each family member try to break the bundle into smaller pieces.

It’s nearly impossible, right? The analogy is obvious: Alone, you can easily break. Together, you’re stronger. Stick together.

Decide as a family where to display the stick bundle so everyone can remember your connection to each other and the Lord. Kids (and adults!) benefit from tangible reminders of abstract ideas, especially in times of stress and anxiety. You might even consider repeating the activity so every person in your household has a stick bundle reminder.

Guide Your Kids’ Emotions

As a counselor, I can say with absolute certainty that children experience a wide range of emotions that require caring, careful attention — and that’s on a “normal” day. Add in media hype and misinformation, long-term separation from friends, possible illness, fear about Mom or Dad’s job and parents could be in for rough ride.

What can you do as a parent during coronavirus? Yes, talk to your kids about the coronavirus calmly and with age-appropriate facts. More importantly, listen.

Ask them what they’re experiencing, what they’ve heard, what they’re feeling inside, and try to see it from their perspective — especially young kids. Young kids are gonna really feed off your own emotions. 

DANNY HUERTA, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY’S VICE PRESIDENT OF PARENTING AND YOUTH

Some children, whether 4 or 14, worry that a question is “dumb” or that Mom or Dad will think less of them or make fun of them for asking. Make sure your children understand that they can talk to you about anything. Keep an open-door policy and prioritize their questions and feelings. If you can’t talk right away, schedule a time with them later that day — and make sure you keep the appointment! This is key as you try to parent during coronavirus.

Remember, too, that kids need help to interpret and handle their feelings; it’s a learned skill. Looking for some pointers?

Get the Book

How do you, as a parent, provide your young adults with the room they need to grow? This book is what every parent needs to help your teenagers soar out of the nest and into the next season of life with confidence.

Stay Connected With Your Spouse

My husband and I realized that an open-door policy wasn’t just good for the kids; we needed it for us, too.

Check in with your spouse every day. Maybe it’s first thing in the morning before you log in to work and set up the kids for learning. Or maybe it’s at the end of the day. Maybe it’s during baby’s nap. It might be a longer discussion about finances, or it might be a quick, kind word and caress as you pass in the kitchen. Just make the time to connect.

Give each other space and grace to be honest about emotions and questions. Share insights from your personal devotional time. Pray for each other individually and together. See this season as an opportunity to grow closer to your spouse.

Guide Your Own Emotions

Let’s be realistic. How can we help our kids control their emotions and reactions if we’re not paying attention to ours?

It’s like the airline attendants direct us: If oxygen masks become necessary during a flight, put on your own before helping others. Why? Without oxygen, we would quickly lose consciousness. So if we don’t make our own mask the priority, we’re no good to anyone else.

Mom and Dad, you’re in a unique position: You’re trying your best to protect and shepherd your children while battling your own fear and anxiety. It’s important that you identify and work through your emotions in a healthy way so you’ll be prepared to walk with your children through their feelings.

Does that mean you have to successfully stare down every fear before you can encourage your kids? Not at all. Instead, it means you turn to God in humility and ask for His wisdom. It means you acknowledge your frailty, your need, your dependence on and trust in God, and your interdependence with family and friends.

You don’t have to parent during coronavirus alone. Name one or two friends you can reach out to. My husband benefited from calling a male friend for accountability and support as he leads our family during this time. And that convinced me to make a go-to list of fellow moms who I call and text for shared advice, empathy, and prayer.

Remember Who is in Control

In wildly changing days on this earth, in upheavals of human emotion, we can find comfort and peace in the everlasting love of our unchanging God. None of the news headlines catch Him by surprise. He’s just waiting for us to call on Him.

Have mercy on me, God. Have mercy on me. I go to you for safety. I will find safety in the shadow of your wings. There I will stay until the danger is gone” (Psalm 57:1 (NIrV).

Parenting during coronavirus can be challenging. As you and your children keep your focus on Christ and find ways to support and encourage each other, you are going to make it.

© 2020 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved.

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
Emerson-Eggerich4-840w

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

Read More About:

You May Also Like

Boundaries

Do Your Kids Have Healthy Phone Habits?

Our kids’ mental health has nearly been narrowed down to two words: Likes and Followers. Learn how to approach habits for your kids and phones.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 5: It’s Going to be Amazing!

After a couple has chosen life, hear the heartwarming stories of children that culture would have cast aside, yet are making tremendous impacts in their communities. Whether the diagnosis was adverse or the circumstances were difficult, these stories will inspire you to come along side of families who have chosen life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

So, after all you’ve seen through the SeeLife ‘21 Episodic journey; what can you do now? We’ll share how you can partner with some amazing organizations that are making significant impacts in the pro-life movement! You want to Celebrate Life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!