By Cheryl Huffman, MD, Pediatrics
Being a parent is extremely rewarding; however, it can also be very demanding. The current COVID-19 pandemic is forcing many parents “out of their comfort zone.” Almost all children are out of school at this time. So, while it may seem like an “extended summer vacation,” it comes with additional burdens to parents.
Parents are being asked to help teach their children when most were not trained as teachers. In addition, several subjects – especially math – are no longer “taught the same way” as parents learned, making it increasingly difficult for parents to help their children. Summer vacation comes with plenty of extra time for outdoor activities and sports – and for most students, social distancing makes those activities unavailable at this time. For many families, there are the added burdens of financial stress, as more and more businesses close down due to the pandemic.
Fortunately, help is available for parents. The American Academy of Pediatrics has an excellent website that is devoted to helping parents – HealthyChildren.org. It is a wealth of information, which is supported by research data. Almost every imaginable topic is included, and the search option is easy to use.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several new topics have been added. A few that you may find helpful are “Positive Parenting & COVID-19. 10 Tips to Help Keep the Calm at Home,” “Working and Learning from Home During the COVID-19 Outbreak,” and “Getting Children Outside While Social Distancing for COVID-19.”
We are all hopeful that the pandemic will soon be behind us and that the world will get back to “normal.” But that “normal” will almost certainly be a “new normal.” HealthyChildren.org can provide help at that time as well.