Parenting in a Pandemic: You’ve Got This!
Warning: this is going to be one of those its-two-o-clock-in-the-morning-and-I-can’t-sleep blogs. Parenting in a pandemic will do that to you, I guess.
These days, I’m not worried about the regular stuff of life, like my kids, or my business, or my aging parents. Those concerns seem innocent and naïve – and so last week!
Now, my concerns are much more specific. I am facing down the barrel of real threats, like contagious viruses, our kids driving home from getting kicked out of college (in a manner of speaking) for 17 hours with a trailer in tow, medically fragile parents, immuno-compromised kids.
You get the picture – because you are living your own version of this truth.
It gives us some perspective, what’s happening right now. This s#)+ has gotten real, right?
In addition to concerns for the safety of my family, I’ve also been thinking a lot about you. Whenever anything happens in the world, I think about how it will effect you – and how to help you through it. And something is happening right now, for sure!
Despite the serious challenges we face in our regular lives, Diane and I try to stay light and playful in our communications with you. We know that you rely on us, and each other, for support, for guidance, for rejuvenation. And we take our role as your coaches very seriously.
And that is true now more than ever.
I’ve been having tons of conversations over the course of the last week about parenting in the pandemic -- with my clients, with my team, with my fellow coaches, and with the experts we're interviewing in the Digital Sanity Summit.
We had no idea it would be so timely when we started planning this summit. Of course, technology is a really hot topic that you often ask about, so we invited the leading experts in the world on Technology and Parenting to help us teach about it.
But who could have possibly imagined that this summit would become a worldwide lifeline to parenting in a pandemic!? If you haven't pre-registered (it's free) -- please do -- and share it with everyone you know. It's truly one of the most extraordinary things we've ever created.
Anyway, in all the fascinating conversations and interviews I’ve had about life in the pandemic, there are two things that have jumped out that I want to share:
- Many of us may not be quite ready to look for the silver lining in this, yet, but it's there. This whole pandemic is like a giant invitation to pause, to refresh the screens (literally and figuratively) and rethink our relationship with each other, and with technology. I talk more about that in this quick video.
- The other idea that is splashing water in my face right now is that parenting in this pandemic is crazy, and new, and uncharted. None of us – not one of us – has ever dealt with anything like this before. Not at all! And yet, the amazing thing to remember is that just because we haven’t done this before doesn’t mean we can’t, or won’t, handle it -- really, really well!
Rick Tamlyn, my first coach trainer ever, used to say, “It’s all made up, so make it good!” And this pandemic is a great reminder of that. We’re all making it up as we go along.
We’re handling things differently than we’ve ever done before – working from home, kids schooling from home, no hugging even our closest friends, saying no to every invitation. Just think about the term ‘social isolating’ – wasn’t that considered a ‘problem’ behavior just a few months ago?
But just because we’ve never done it doesn’t mean we can’t. It means we need to think about it differently, trust in our resourcefulness, so we can hunker down and do what needs to be done. Because we’re parents, and that’s what we do.
We don’t know what’s going to happen. And we certainly can’t control it. But how we respond? That’s up to us. So I propose that the most helpful way to get through this whole crazy mess is with an “I’ve got this, so bring it on!” attitude.
So what’s the key to parenting in a pandemic? Diane and I will be figuring out what we can over the weeks and months to come, and sharing it in many ways.
In the short term, I really do encourage you to check out the Digital Sanity Summit. I'm thrilled to say that it really is just what you need, just when you need it!
In the meantime, there’s probably nothing more important to remember than the simple truth that it’s all made up, so make it good!
Tech & Parenting Online Series
"The Digital Sanity Summit: Navigating Technology in the Modern World of Parenting" will go live on March 30 for five days — featuring in-depth interviews with 18+ leading experts on Technology and Parenting from all over the world