Covid-19 has helped families to slow down. This may feel like a loss, but it may be working in your favor. There is so much emphasis in providing the right opportunities and affording the right things. This puts extra pressure on you, as a parent, to set up every conceivable situation that will benefit your child.
Unfortunately, this puts too much pressure on you! Not only will it leave you feeling hassled and fragmented, but it will also play havoc on your psyche. You lose sight of the important things like self care, boundaries, and limits. When people are too busy it takes away from their time to BE which then keeps them from feeling centered, balanced and focused on the important things in life.
Prior to Covid, you may have needed to readjust.
In retrospect, you might have been doing too much if:
You couldn’t afford the activities your child is involved in.
The kid’s activities were cutting into your workday or down time.
If the only life you had was arranging your child’s activities.
You allowed your child to take you for granted and set up an agenda without asking you. (They didn’t ask permission to go and they don’t ask if it would fit into your plans.
If you have been ignoring that nagging feeling to say no for fear of letting your kids down or creating conflict.
When you do too much for your child, you not only burn yourself out, but you also set up a condition that can affect your child. When children receive too much money, time or attention, three natural processes occur:
Children become self-centered and begin to expect the world to revolve around them.
They develop a skewed sense of reality that is not reflective of the real world.
Children are most likely doing too much and do not have enough down time for the “kid essentials” like studying, cleaning their room, or interacting with family, especially their parents.
Covid may be allowing you to reprioritize the fundamentals and decide that it is absolutely okay to spend less, do less and focus less on providing them opportunities. Once Covid subsides because of the vaccine, you will need to remain steadfast and do less. When kids have more downtime, they have less anxiety and do a better job finding out how to focus and stay centered. When parenting your kids, it is ok to put the brakes on and limit your child’s activities.
When you begin to transition back into normalcy, you will need to avoid falling into the trap of doing too much or being too permissive. There are several techniques that can rein the child back into a slower, gentler lifestyle:
You have to set the limits. Stop doing so much! Yes, they will be mad and yes, they will try to make you feel guilty.
Start re-prioritizing their needs and saying things like, “I can’t afford to take all your friends out for your 6th birthday” or “I have discontinued the cellular phones because it didn’t fit into our budget” or “Mom’s too tired to pick you up.”
Covid-19 has forced you to stay at home, be with the family, watch videos and eat regular meals together. It has recalibrated your family values, which builds character. Don’t be afraid to refocus your efforts. Remind yourself that doing less is more. It builds great family values. Isn’t that really your job as a parent?