The Covid-19 pandemic is making stressful situations worse for separated parents and their children.
Never before have so many separated parents had to deal with the complexities of trying to stay safe from an invisible threat while maintaining a semblance of normalcy for their children, who move between parents on a weekly or daily basis.
Taking care of yourself is the first step toward caring for your children and maintaining normalcy during the pandemic.
We all manage stress in different ways. We’re all concerned about how this affects us economically and also physically with the health and well-being of ourselves and our loved ones. When stressed, we all have our go-to emotions. Some of us get angry. Some of us get sad. Some of us withdraw. Some of us go into a hyper-focused state and do all the things (organize, work on overdrive, stay up late and get little sleep).
Be patient with your co-parent.
Give your self and your co-parent the benefit of the doubt. Recognize we’re all managing as best we can. Offer compassion, empathy, and grace. Be flexible. Be kind.
Communicate expectations clearly and specifically. Who’s managing homeschooling? How much screen time are we ok with? What are the agreed upon family social distancing parameters we’re all following? Are we allowing visitors, playmates, and extended family members to come over?
Remind your children (and your ex) that you care about their health and safety.
Set intentions for this time of quarantine. We want our kids to know they are safe, they are cared for, and that their needs will be met.
Routines can be helpful and can provide structure, safety, and predictability. Kids thrive on these kinds of things. And it can take the guesswork out of a nebulous day. And string of days.
Have some fun and demonstrate to your children that scary times can still have light moments.
Remember to play. You need it and your kids need it. Dance, sing, go outside, paint, build a fort, laugh. This is an unsettling time for us all and there is so much uncertainty that goes with it. Playing can help blow off steam and give us some much needed endorphins to fight off the negative effects of stress.
If you’re stressed about managing custody during Covid-19, I can help.
Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash