I facilitated three different Parent Support Groups via Zoom. As parents shared struggles, ideas and successes, I took notes. These ideas came directly from the wise parents who shared honestly. (Thanks to Kimberley for helping me to organize my notes).
Needs/Difficulties with Quarantine
– Sense of absurdity/strangeness of interacting with everyone through screens.
-Feeling pressure “to be productive.”
-Often chaotic. That’s the reality in many homes.
-I need a break. Need alone time. Don’t want to rely on screen time.
-Chaos in homes without a schedule.
-Can’t wait for working parent to get home (grateful they have a job but) …
-Miss having adults to speak to.
-Envious. I would love to work right now.
-Parent: If I don’t get outside, I feel crazy.
-Anxious (worry about coronavirus and my parents) spinning cycle of fear.
Suggestions and Advice for Quarantine
-Echoes early parenthood— really important to take some alone time. This is a long game.
-I try to remind myself this is a really rare occasion that I might not have this kind of close, intimate time with my son. To see him growing, even though I feel tired. Because I don’t have time for myself.
-Older son reading a lot.
-Important to have a schedule and to get outside.
-Daily Flow (including order of events and time outside) but w/o restrictive times.
-Eases anxiety and prepares them for success when they know what to expect in the day. Sets expectations for the day.
-When child is ready for a shift, child might go to schedule to ask/go to what’s next.
-Sharing picture of chaos (I have so many pictures of chaos) rather than the perfect activity. Reminds us it’s normal to have things be a little messy or wild.
-Even if my son doesn’t get out, I (parent) need to get out.
-Important to take a break from the news.
-Get a break.
-Cup of coffee or tea to self.
-Go on a walk.
-Cut each other (co-parent) slack.
-Bubbles to breathe through.
-Walk in the neighborhood.
-Playing with long-forgotten toys.
-PBS- LEGO challenge.
-Only build with the red Legos.
-Rest, play, Grow (book).
-Scavenger hunt (drawing in window, teddy bear in window).
-Scavenger hunt on homes.
-Each family Share story at home.
-Science experiments- balloons, volcanoes…
Ways to Connect Virtually
Some Things That Have Come Up
-I usually work so much and I’m enjoying slowing down a bit and seeing the rhythm of their (parent and children’s) day.
-We may be reminded of Inter-generational trauma that lies beneath.
-Innocent and hopeful with big brother too. Time to play and be silly with less responsibility.