“We can see how we are basing our happiness on the behavior of others…needing other people to think, act, or feel a certain way for us to be happy or at peace.”


Key Points

  • Find the Flow
  • Make Tasks Easy and Fun
  • Relate with Respect
  • Choose your Focus
  • Connection is Key


Parenting Under Quarantine

Tips For Managing Emotions and Expectations When You Are With Each Other 24/7

Family dynamics can seem complicated but our needs are pretty simple: having our physical needs met in a predictable and satisfying way, relating to those we share our time with in respectful and constructive ways, and having a sense of contribution and progress in our lives.

It’s simple but not always easy!

Being a mother of 6 boys, my learning curve in how to do this — sometimes gracefully and other times less so —has been steep. It has given me the opportunity to learn about myself and others in precious and impactful ways. And the learning is never done. Just when I figure out one dynamic, I see how I need to improve another.

Thank goodness its about progress, not perfection! Whether its Covid-19 Quarantine, summer break, or your kids are home because they are young (or like me, you homeschool)….we all need a good plan to manage life, our needs, and our little peoples needs as well. For many people, the toughest part of the Covid-19 Quarantine has been the relentless need to parent, perhaps to temporarily homeschool, and to shoulder the concern of economic instability or loss.

Replace Your “Escapes”

All of these things are intense and being forced to deal with them all at once is a tall order. When many common “escapes” from what’s not working in our lives are gone, we are face to face with unresolved issues that have been swept under the rug.

Here are some of the things I have found help us create a joyful, connected, nurturing dynamic for us in our home. I hope they can be an encouragement and inspiration for you as you find what works best for you and your family during this time.

5 Tips to Help Now

  1. Find the flow:  If you have teenagers that want to sleep in, lean into that with an extra long session of personal time in the morning for yourself. If you have early risers that need breakfast at 6:30 am or they’ll create havoc, set out breakfast the night before. Blend with what is already shaping everyone’s natural rhythms. Toss out the “should’s” and find ease as much as possible.
  2. Make tasks easy and fun: Music, laughter, and a feeling of lightness go a long way. When we feel intense pressure, we have to find ways to let that go so we don’t implode. Be the leader in diffusing tensions by showing the assumption of goodwill. Employ the unexpected and the silly to keep it light when you are all feeling suffocated….chocolate chips on salad—sure!….costume day—great idea!!….speaking in foreign accents when reading their favorite book—definitely!!…find ways to bring whimsy into the everyday. In heavy times, we need to remember all of us need more play and laughter.
  3. Relate with respect: Saying please and thank you, not interrupting each other, and using terms of endearment when addressing each other. For example: “Love, can you please clean up your room?” These things all go a long way in creating a relational dynamic that feels good to be in. Set the example yourself and create a gentle and kind dynamic as often as possible.
  4. Choose your focus: Choose a few rules and let the rest go. But, be solid in your commitment to the rules you choose. In our home how we speak to each other, how we support each other, and how we take personal responsibility are non-negotiable. Decide what yours are and make them clear to the members of your family. Practice modeling the values well for your kids. Also, show them how to own mistakes with a clean apology and do-over when you miss the mark. Commit to progress, not perfection, but be unwavering in the direction you are going together, even though you may stumble a little on the way.
  5. Connection is key: If we are connected to ourselves, we can connect well to others. Prioritize what makes you feel healthy, centered, and hopeful so you can show up as that person for your loved ones. For me that’s great sleep, daily movement, great nutrition, and practices that feed my spiritual growth. Once we are connected to ourselves we are able to connect to others. Connection requires we let go of our agenda of what we wish was going on with the other person, and create space for where they actually are. It takes courage, the ability to feel our own judgement/fears come up, and the ability to hold faith for their growth. Sometimes everyone is delightful and our heart is overflowing. Sometimes people are prickly and difficult and we feel overwhelmed and discouraged by it. During bumpy moments, we have to keep our head above water and trust that things will smooth out. It’s not our job to manage everyone; rather, we need to model character and encourage them to rise to their potential…and have faith that they will.

Emotional Maturity Brings Peace in Conflict

Everyone we relate to can help us see where we aren’t yet done maturing. We can see how we are basing our happiness on the behavior of others…needing other people to think, act, or feel a certain way for us to be happy or at peace. Rather than being emotionally mature and not resisting where they are, we can choose how we show up, regardless.

In the end, this time of 24/7 parenting can pave the way for an upgrade in our spiritual development, our family dynamics, and it can help us face whatever we were avoiding previously. Now we have a great opportunity to realize that one of the greatest joys in life is to meet challenges in such a way that we “work out” on those problems like reps in a gym and produce muscles of integrity and virtue.

Love and Light,