The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered daily life for most Americans.
For those who are able to work from home, the domestic sphere has taken on additional roles of office and school. Families have been forced into constant contact and parents have had to manage juggling work with the additional responsibilities of managing their children’s remote learning.
How can families navigate this new domestic space while also helping each other through the collective feelings of uncertainty and grief?
Listen: How to Navigate Parenting During a Pandemic.
Sascha Raiyn, WDET education reporter and mother to a six-year-old, helped launch Doing Our Best, a Facebook community for parents during this troubled time. The group is meant as a space for parents to share stories from their new normal, the small victories and big challenges.
“Whatever the new normal looks like, I think parenting will change, education will change, we’ll find out more about what our children will need.” — Sascha Raiyn, reporter
Jake Neher, Senior Producer of Detroit Today, has been juggling working from home with parenting a 5-year-old and a 9-month-old. Neher says that he and his wife are both able to work from home and that their housing situation is secure, and his family is fortunate.
“Were doing okay overall, even from that most privileged perspective, it’s really, really hard.” — Jake Neher, Senior Producer
Ronnie Evan Hormel, a therapist who works at Birmingham Maple Clinic in Troy, says that the current situation has created a sense of loss and grief among many families. The uncertainty of the future adds to the anxiety many families are feeling.
“Parents are not able to model the tolerance [with the anxiety caused by this pandemic], because they haven’t been through this.” — Ronnie Evan Hormel, therapist
Rosalind Wiseman, parenting expert, author and co-founder of Cultures of Dignity, says that it is important to hold family meetings during this time in order to establish standards of communication. Wiseman says it’s important for the meeting to happen in a neutral place and without cellphones present. Wiseman advises that the parent or leader of the meeting try not to repeat themselves, lecture too much and be open to listening.
“We need to listen to [our kids] and learn about the world that they’re living in, so that we can give them the tools that they need.” — Rosalind Wiseman, author
— Written by Detroit Today Associate Producer Clare Brennan