Parenting in 2021

March 3, 2021

Parenting in 2021A lot has changed in parenting, even compared to just a short time ago when things were considered “normal” pre-pandemic. Which feels like ages ago!! We all want to be the best parents we can be to the most important people in our life but life can get in the way, even for the best of us.

With many of us working from home and kiddos at home for remote learning, take time to rethink how you are spending time with your kids. Even though we are physically present during this time, we may not be fully present and in the moment because of the constant chirping of email reminders and notifications. Make sure to create those hard stops during the day. It is very easy to have a fluid workday that continues into the night while at home. It may make you feel productive, but may not be the best for you and your family.

Here’s what some of our team members have to say about parenting in 2021.

Rebecca Staines, School/Licensed Professional Counselor

Parenting in the year 2021 may look very different from parenting as recently as 2019, but maybe it doesn’t have to. While we are all still in the midst of a global pandemic and trying to make decisions on whether our children should return to in-person learning or remain virtual, there are still aspects of how we parent that can remain the same.

One very important part of parenting in a time of crisis is finding a routine for your child. This may be having set times for meals, walks with the family, or just some good old-fashioned free playtime. Continuing to remain a constant in your child’s life is also especially important and can be achieved through what I like to call the ABC’s of parenting.

  • Affirm your child when they show growth or work hard on something (this does not have to be achievement-based.)
  • Create Boundaries with your child when it comes to behavior and expectations at home. This can include having boundaries for how much dessert your child can have to how long they can spend on their phones.
  • And finally, be Consistent. Make sure that the boundaries you set are not arbitrary and do not change from day-to-day. Children need the security of knowing what to expect at home, given that there is very little that will be consistent outside of the home this year.

Kasey Cain, Licensed Professional Counselor 

Parenting is the hardest job in the world and, as it has with just about everything, the pandemic has increased the challenges. Even with a million books on the topic of parenting, there is truly no instruction manual tailored to your specific child(ren). Still, since parenting has been around forever there is some pretty solid evidence to support what I am calling parenting reminders for 2021:

  1. Love your kids unconditionally.

    • Notice I wrote “love” and not “like”. You don’t always have to like your children. Sometimes they are downright difficult and unreasonable. You may not like them in the moment but always love them.
  2. Guess what? They don’t always like you either and that is OK!

    • One of our main jobs as parents is to create boundaries for our children to help them navigate the world around them safely. Setting limits and enforcing them won’t make you popular but it will earn their respect and your children will learn that you are a trustworthy, consistent presence in their lives. When children say “I hate you!” try responding with “I am sure you do right now. I am making you do something you don’t want to do. Just know that I love you no matter what.”
  3. There is no such thing as perfect parenting.

    • So stop “shoulding” yourself and comparing yourself to others. We are all doing the best that we can on any given day. Give yourselves and your children credit when something goes well and when you are proud of an accomplishment. Be kind to yourself when you are reflecting on what you wish could have gone differently.
  4. Maintain and build up support systems.

    1. Seeking or offering support and help when needed is an important social-emotional skill. It is a sign of strength to ask for help and it is also great to model this for your children.
  5. Finally, find motivation and strength all around you.

    1. I am continually inspired through reading and one of my favorite authors is Glennon Doyle. I often repeat her words like a sort of mantra: “We can do hard things!”, “Be messy, complicated, and afraid, AND show up anyways.”, and “Love is just relentless showing up.”

Show up for your children every single day. It is sure to be messy, complicated, and scary at times AND it will be wonderfully rewarding and full of love.

What are some things you as a parent have done to counter the challenges we all face at this time? Do you adhere to a strict schedule? Are you prioritizing quality family time? That doesn’t include just being at home together – this could mean a fun family activity or game night. Let us know in the comments!

Need support at this time? Contact us.

Until next time, Be Wise!