While it’s exciting to watch children grow and develop into caring humans, parenting definitely brings about it’s fair share of challenges. Fast forward to 2020 and we are now faced with pandemic parenting which presents with even more difficulties.

And to make an already stressful situation worse, many children are exhibiting a regression in behaviors that is contributing to parental frustration. Therefore, it’s imperative that parents have support so they can be empathic during this tough time and be attuned to differing behaviors of their children.

During times of stress, cortisol floods into the brain and puts us in survival mode. Since children’s pre-frontal cortex is still developing, stress makes it harder for them to follow rules and they act out to get attention.

What’s important to understand, however, is that this is an unconscious process. Since our higher brain functioning is exhausted and we are inundated with stress hormones, just trying to get through the day is enough of a challenge.

Attempting to process all of this, logically, is an impossible feat for children in today’s circumstances.

For pandemic parenting, you should expect their children to behave differently and understand that this is the way they communicate their feelings.

Taking steps backwards in development is likely and can include varying behaviors depending on the age of the child.

Younger children may have nightmares, be fearful of social situations, start wetting the bed, etc. Older children and teens may argue more or be quieter, which is important to understand since silence speaks volumes and can be an indication of anxiety or depression.

Whatever the age or behavior, however, being attuned to their children’s actions is essential.

For parents to help their children through this, they should become curious about any regressive or acting out behaviors they observe.

Being attuned and taking time to connect to their children helps parents understand the behavior in a truer way.

Instead of disciplining or scolding regressive behaviors, parents should validate their children’s feelings, so they can begin to make healthy strides to feeling empowered again.

By following this approach to pandemic parenting, you will nurture your relationship and reassure them of a positive future.

Since most everyone feels “cut-off” in some way from community support systems, it’s important for parents to have access to resources that assist them in creating a way for their children to regain skills while also nurturing the parent-child bond.

Structured activities – like martial arts, dance, or sports – helps children build skills physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially.

If you feel comfortable and safe, atted in-person classes, or join virtual classes in the comfort of your home.

Such activities provide them with the tools to maintain healthy development while also building essential life skills.

While everyone is attempting to navigate through this pandemic parenting the best way we can, we want to ensure that our children come through this pandemic with the least amount of regression.

Understanding that regression during stressful times is common is important so parents don’t feel as if they are failing their children.

With time, better behaviour will be regained and utilizing resources that aid in this will be beneficial for children and their parents as we all continue to move forward to a new normal.