Anna Hady – a growth and family tutor – on how to find your way through this special time and make the best of it for yourself and your family

Parenting during coronavirus

#StayHome is what we need to do today. This is currently our control zone, so once we know WHAT to do, we need to work out HOW to do that. Staying home for a long time with limited social interactions and away from everyday activities may be a real challenge. Switching within a day to simultaneously perform roles of a parent, chef, educator and employee is very difficult, so let’s take a look how to go through this demanding period.

Here are some general tips to find your way through this special time and make the best of it for yourself and your family. Note: the best is NOT the most in terms of productivity, perfection or creativity. Take care of yourself to be able to take care of the others.

#StayGentle

For yourself, your family and relatives. It is a challenge for all of us and it is normal that we encounter difficult emotions, tough moments and fears. Do not expect yourself to be perfectly productive, strong or organized. Set yourself reasonable goals to be active within your comfort zone. Self-care today is more important than following tight schedules.

Example: When you are having a worse day give yourself a break, switch to a minimum plan – secure simple food and snacks for children, deal with priorities and do something relaxing for yourself. It may bring you more energy to act tomorrow and in a weekly balance you can succeed to fulfil all your important tasks.

#StayLoving

Remember that everyone can adapt differently to new situations – it may require different amount of time and different measures to accept new order and find one’s place in it. We may also express our anxiety in different manners, not all of them may seem obvious for the environment. Excessive laughter, compulsive cleaning, feeling overexcited or weakened, overeating or skipping meals – all unusual behaviours may cover feelings that need to be taken care of. Search in yourself and search around yourself – be cautious not supress feelings by controlling difficult behaviours. Make sure to give children and yourself a space to talk. Find ways that help everyone to decompress, it may make tension go away by itself.

Example: Dance, sing, stretch, relax, hug each other – even if you do not have this habit on the everyday basis it is a balm for your soul in stressful times and children make it so easy to get engaged together in these activities. Try once and you will feel the positive impact it has on you, your relations and atmosphere at home.

#StayTuned

Do not spend all your free time following the latest news, it does not bring anything more than raising your tension. Once or twice a day give yourself time to check the news, get informed in reliable sources and give yourself some time to digest it. Observe the emotions it evokes in you and acknowledge them, let them resound, discuss with close adult if you feel the need. Accept the feelings and instead of fighting them, use this energy to focus on your plans for the day. Remember we all face whole spectrum of feelings and though some are more pleasant than others, all can work to our benefit.

Example: Anxiety or fear can help you stay disciplined when undergoing quarantine, however troubling it may become with time.

#StayAuthentic

Recognize your boundaries and communicate them when you are still in comfort zone, being able to say No with confidence, but without shaming others. It will make things much easier for all of you and will keep the atmosphere fresh. Let kids also communicate their feelings and boundaries and provide emphatic reply whenever possible. Remember that hearing and understanding others does not mean agreeing for all their demands. Being seen and heard are kids basic needs and once they feel understood they are more open to accept parents replies, whether positive or not.

Example: Tell your children you need silence and time for yourself without shame. Let them know you hear their needs and understand their feelings, even if you cannot agree to their requests. Take responsibility for your decisions and communicate them clearly and respectfully.

#StayFocused

Refer to your core values, find for yourself meaning in this situation and use it as a support. Kids learn by observing us and this may be the most important lesson on self-responsibility and solidarity they received so far. Remember to stay focused on the priorities, give up the things you cannot influence anyway and use your energy in a productive way. Use your previous experiences to draw most helpful strategies that helped you overcome challenges in the past. Remember that expressing gratitude reduces stress, increases optimism, and influences your perception. It is also helpful in appreciating what and who we have around us, so now it may be more vital practicing it than ever.

Example: Write down what is at stake for you and your relatives in this situation and what is needed to overcome it. When you encounter inner crises during this lockdown come back to your list before you start rationalizing giving up the discipline of social distancing or going out. Remember what is at stake to stick to your resolutions.

About the Author

Anna Hady – a growth and family tutor, specializing in mindful parenting.

Parenting PolandI have a degree in linguistics, studied sociology, hold Executive MBA; I have professional experience in the international business environment holding managerial positions.

However, starting a family and bringing my children into the world changed everything. Today, first of all, I am a wife and a mother with all my heart, and also a Tutor.

The role of wife and mother has led me to seek answers to questions about building a happy family. Children awake in me an infinite motivation for development, my husband provides extraordinary support in my activities.

I was searching for a path of education to be, not only strong, but equally happy and good person aware of their potential and building their character on a strong foundation of values. I believe that Tutoring is such a path and it is worth entering at various stages of one’s life – continuing education, designing life and career path; and planning goals or changes in life.

I have completed a first-level tutor course at Collegium Wratislaviense; specialization in Positive Psychology at University of Pennsylvania; certification training for Familylab trainers. Gaining these competences was an extremely valuable experience for me, I continue self-development and undergo trainings to share this knowledge and spread ideas that change the world around me for the better.


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