Just over three weeks ago, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper closed all public schools. For now, his order will remain in effect until May 15th. So with kids out of school -- and with strict social distancing measures in place, how are working parents coping?
“Oh my gosh, this is crazy, isn’t it?”
That’s Nancy Kotz. She’s a clinical social worker and therapist. And her area of expertise, parenting.
She says one of the most important things parents can do during this time is to maintain healthy relationships with their kids:
“Really when we can show up calmy centered, grounded, whatever words you want to use, we establish safety in our home and we establish positive connections [...].That’s really the foundation to remember. It’s hard right now to keep that in forefront because most of us are stressed out beyond anything I’ve ever encountered.”
Kate Scarborough is the Director of Operations at a tech startup called Kwipped -- and she has a young daughter at home:
“So it’s been a bit of an adjustment to say the least. I’m used to working in an office and so having to come up with a regimented schedule to stay on task has been a bit of an issue, especially when you have a three-year-old little girl who wants your attention pretty constantly.”
But Kate is one of the lucky ones. She has help -- her husband is taking some time off from work:
“He’s been the one who’s been primarily parenting, and essentially trying to create a daddy daycare situation to keep her learning and occupied and engaged. So he has to distract her from interrupting mama from work. So he’s really had to do a lot, and it’s definitely an adjustment for everybody in the house.”
And for those households where both parents are working from home, therapist Nancy Kotz says it’s best to set aside some quality one-on-one time with your child. And, she says, we also need to make time for ourselves:
“[...]even if it’s short breaks, like five minutes where I’m just by myself to breathe, or to do some jumping jacks, or to do a meditation [...].That’s the time we’re teaching our children some independence [...].”
And while Kotz says there’s a lot to be anxious about, she also says there’s something we need to remember:
“Pat ourselves on the back because we’re all trying our best and trying to survive these times. And, we’re doing way better than we think we are in that.[...]to really take a moment and appreciate that about ourselves and our partners and our children.”