2020 has been quite a year. It truly turned our worlds upside down and forced us to go into isolation. Many people were happy that they’ll get to spend time with their spouses, parents with kids, and adults with their loved ones and family. Though working every day from home while spending hours and hours on zoom call takes a toll on not only your physical but mental health as well. But being parents, it becomes important for you to make sure that you are present there, in every moment while taking care of yourself to provide the best parenting goals. 2020 provided with much-needed perspective and has made us create new parenting goals for 2021 as you work from home with kids.
Spend Time with Your Kids in a Mindful Way
2020 turned us into zombies spending our days on laptops on emails and zoom calls, which is why you must be thinking, “I am spending almost all of my time with my kid, so what is this whole scenario about mindfully spending time?”
Allow me to explain. While being at home in lockdown, as you work from home with kids and your kids are on their laptops or tablets taking online classes, it has become essential for everyone to just unplug and spend time in a meaningful way. Even if you are a home-maker, most of the time you spend with your kid is while you are engrossed in your daily chores.
Therefore, when I say that you should spend time in a mindful way, I mean that you should spend time in a way that connects you more with your child. Keep 10 minutes every day where you devote yourself completely, without any distraction (and I mean keeping or switching off any electronic device). Let your kids call the shots about how they want to spend this time with you. Do they want to build a Lego fort? Maybe have a tea-party? Or just have a pillow-fight, this is their time and let them choose how they want to bond with you and feel loved and adored.
Resilience is defined as the ability to go through various challenging situations in life like sadness, trauma, and coming out stronger and wiser. This is a value and a concept that can only be learned by going through life’s hardships and developing enough bravery and self-trust that we can overcome anything. But, if nothing else, 2020 gave a lot of opportunities to learn how to be flexible and overcome the challenges that came across throughout the year.
If your kid has been trying hard to overcome a tough and demanding task, don’t forget to reward him with something. When my 8-year-old kid found it difficult to adjust to the online way of learning and got a B instead of his usual A+, I rewarded him for sticking to the challenge and overcoming various problems. As a mother, I also loved the fact that he entrusted me with the difficulties he was facing and asked for help. How could I have not rewarded such mature, wise behavior from my little one?
Encourage Them to Express Emotions
As a society, we are taught to stifle our emotions rather than showing them. It is considered to be more dignified to bottle up your emotions and becoming a colder person in retrospect. But if we are to raise emotionally and spiritually healthy children, we need to stop labeling emotions as good or bad. There is wisdom in stepping back and letting our children express whatever they are feeling. This process is much needed for them to learn how to metabolize discomfort, fear, anger, or sadness. This is a learning curve for them that our emotions are transient, most of the time. You sit and spend a few minutes feeling and expressing a particular emotion and it will pass.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Kids are impressionable beings and they learn from adults through their actions. Have you ever been in a position when they would question your authority for not eating snacks in the bed while you do the same? It is easy for kids to learn what they see. So, in 2021, instead of preaching, try teaching by actions. Your teachings are things that kids might forget but your actions can cultivate habits that would last a lifetime.
Bring Back Self-Care
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. Parents with kids at home amidst lockdown have taken up a lot of roles and chores. Also, with schools running online classes, a lot of education-related pressure has fallen upon the parents. From taking care of their homework to making sure that they are sticking to their schedule of attending classes to their exams and grades, a lot has piled up on your plates. Well, 2021 is the year when you should also be taking a breather and relaxing a while. As we said, you won’t be taking care of only yourself but would be teaching the importance of taking a time-out when you feel burnt from all the work.
So, what would your parenting goals be for 2021? Hopefully, these would have struck a chord with you. If you have some of your own, please share them with us in the comments!
SUMMARY: 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, especially parents. As the boundaries blurred between work and family hours, a lot piled up on their plates. As you worked from home with kids, while taking care of cooking, cleaning, long zoom calls, and their online classes, 2020 was exhausting. But it was also sent as a blessing as parents spent much-needed time with their kids, bringing everyone closer.
2020 forced us to take a lot into perspective and changed the way we lived. This year has also changed the way we parent our kids, which leads to new parenting goals for 2021. Here are a few things which are on our list.