Wondering about how to parent while your kids are home during the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?
Lindsay Powers has the only tip you need: “Throw out every single rule.”
The author of You Can’t F— Up Your Kids joined PeopleNow on Wednesday to answer parent questions about life in self-isolation and covered everything from how to manage snack time to homework in her chat.
One concerned parent admitted their concern that their kids aren’t eating healthy enough.
Powers said that there are “so many preconceived notions about food that’s so-called bad or good.”
While adults often eschew carb-heavy meals, Powers explained that children actually need more carbs when they’re young.
“It helps their bodies grow, their brains grow,” she said. “So, mac and cheese for everyone.”
Powers also pointed out that there is research that shows it’s “more important to spend time together than what you’re actually eating. So also, get rid of that guilt.”
The author also encouraged parents to “think of comfort food right now.”
“We are in the middle of unprecedented times,” she said. “And there’s something to be said about eating for comfort and not being so hard on ourselves about having this ‘perfectly balanced meal.'”
In a similar vein, another concerned parent asked what they should do to stop their kids interrupting work for a snack.
Powers shared some of her personal experience to answer that question, explaining that her family has designated snack times throughout the day.
“I’ve also seen people have success with making like a basket or bowl for their kids with a couple of different snacks and giving them to their kids and saying, ‘This is your quota of snacks. You’ve got your two granola bars, your banana and a handful of gummies.’ And when your kids are done, they’re done.”
“I think just because it’s a weird time it doesn’t mean we want to stop having boundaries and rules,” Powers added.
Another boundary Powers encourages parents to maintain their “normal discipline routine.”
While she says parents should be giving their children plenty of extra love and cuddles, it’s also important not to throw discipline out the window.
“We can’t let go of timeouts and rules. I think kids sometimes push us to gain stability in a world that feels a little unstable right now,” she said. “So don’t feel bad about continuing on with your normal discipline routine.”
Powers also touched on a topic that many parents dread: helping kids with homework.
“Don’t be hard on yourself,” Powers said to a parent who admitted they had no idea how to do their child’s math homework. “Right now, we can focus more on life skills than book skills. I don’t think our kids are going to look back on this time and also say, ‘Oh you know, we should have spent more time on math worksheets.'”
Powers pointed out that there are several virtual learning resources parents can use and said that parents shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to their kids’ teachers. She also added that activities like cooking are a great way to hone math skills.
“Math worksheets, let them go. Do the best you can,” she said. “We’re all in the same boat together.”
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