Life is unpredictable.
It’s a life lesson we never really learned till the pandemic hit us. We had our daily routines planned out, took them for granted, and merrily went about the day’s work, thinking that nothing could ever disrupt this comfortable humdrum.
But change was in the offing. And when the upheaval happened, it threw all of our best-laid plans down the drain — including the ones we had in place for our kids.
Perhaps one of the most deeply affected aspects of daily living during the pandemic has been parenting. With children spending all of their time home all of a sudden, parents have to start from scratch all over again. They have to go back to the drawing board and fill the blank empty space that stares back at them with new parenting plans that work.
And as you know first-hand, that is not easy.
Parenting In The Present
It’s safe to say; parenting has been one unending series of meltdowns. With kids gate-crashing work calls and waging new wars whenever it’s time for food, study or sleep, parenting in the ‘new normal’ is far from the normal it used to be.
As parents, you constantly have to struggle to find new ways to keep your kids occupied while ensuring their safety and well-being. A Herculean task in the present world where you try as you might, you still can’t afford the luxury to go back to the ‘old normal’.
With that being said, the current scenario of parenting paints a picture of what’s to come. And it looks a lot different. Let’s delve a little deeper into that.
How The Pandemic Could Change Parenting
Though family bonding might be one good thing to come out of the pandemic, the future for parenting, in particular, doesn’t look too bright. An alarming number of parents are now confused about the best way to raise their children and that is a cause of concern.
According to a study released by the Global Parents Virtual Conclave, 64% of parents all around the world are unsure about how to raise their children in the unpredictable and chaotic world we live in right now (1). Parents fear the mental well-being and financial stability of their children in a world without COVID.
Social experiences are part of the growing-up years of a child’s life — one that leads to their holistic growth and development. COVID has all but robbed children of these shared social experiences, forcing them to spend most of their time indoors, which could possibly take a toll on their overall well-being. Besides, with unemployment on the rise, finances are also something to worry about.
However, as parents worry over the best ways to raise their children once the dust settles, a silver lining looms on the horizon. Thanks to the pandemic, the world now recognizes the value of the unpaid labor of being a caregiver (2). This recognition has led to the sharing of the emotional toll of keeping a home, which is generally borne alone by the woman of the house.
An increasing number of husbands now take an active part in maintaining the house and raising their children. From cooking dinner to helping kids do their homework, the sharing of parenting responsibilities is a welcome change. The kind that can further help in establishing gender equality.
A Good Time To Let Kids Spread Their Wings
Another factor that could change parenting forever is the constant scrutiny kids are under now, thanks to online classes.
Back when things were normal, kids had a busy schedule of their own, chock-a-block with school, tuitions, extra-curricular activities, and everything else in between. Being away from constant parental supervision gave them the chance to be on their own.
But now, since classrooms are virtual and tuitions and extra-curricular activities are almost non-existent, kids spend most of their time at home with their WFH parents. In such scenarios, it becomes difficult for parents to not scrutinize their kid’s actions. According to the same Global Parents study, 48% of parents are worried about the time children spend online; 45.2% are concerned about the lack of physical activities, and 34.5% worry over their planning of academics (3).
However, there’s a positive side to this too! With the pandemic forcing people to reevaluate their lives and revealing the true importance of life skills, parents are getting keener to help their children pursue their passions instead of just blankly following what’s in the syllabus. Curriculums, as they exist now, are taking a backseat, and life skills and passions are coming at the forefront — a change in the right direction.
Parenting in the post-COVID era is shaping up to be an evolution — a complete change from what it has been in the last few decades. Here’s hoping the change is as positive as it seems to be!