What HFP Parents Are Saying About This Time

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.

 -Exhausted.

 -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.

 

Activity ideas

 -Bubbles to breathe through.

 -Walk in the neighborhood.

 -Playing with long-forgotten toys.

 -Rotating toys.

 -PBS- LEGO challenge.

 -Only build with the red Legos.

 -Rest, play, Grow (book).

 -Scavenger hunt (drawing in window, teddy bear in window).

 -Map.

 -Scavenger hunt on homes.

 -Each family Share story at home.

 -Origami.

 -Science experiments- balloons, volcanoes…

 

Ways to Connect Virtually

-FaceTime

-Instagram

-Hangouts

-Marco Polo 

 

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. 

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