Parenting through a Pandemic

We have had some really tough days. And while Jack is typically a pretty easy-going dude, he has been having temper tantrums over the last few weeks.

They are quite sporadic, but usually they are triggered by his online schooling. Each weekday, I break his classwork down into two or three sessions for him to complete throughout the day. Normally, it works out great… he gets his first part done in the morning and earns the chance to play video games. He completes the second part after lunch and if there is a third part, he does that in the afternoon.

Easy-peasy.

Unless there is something Jack decides is “too hard” in his classwork. Depending on the day, it could be a writing assignment or sitting and watching a boring video of his teacher explaining multiplication. Once he decides something is too hard, he goes from 0 to 100 with yelling and crying.

It’s a full-on temper tantrum like you’d expect from a 2-year-old.

It’s exhausting and frustrating.

I’ve tried to respond to it in a variety of ways. I’ve asked him to leave the room until he can get himself under control. I’ve told him that I understand that he’s frustrated. I’ve ignored him. I’ve reassured him that it’s not too hard and that he can do it because he’s awesome. I’ve asked if I can help him. In my less graceful moments, I’ve yelled at him. I’ve picked him up and put him in his room until he can get himself together. I’ve hugged him and told him that we will get through this.

Nothing works.

It’s like a teapot is slowly gaining steam and them BOOM, the whole dang thing explodes.

And then it passes. He calms himself down and returns to my office and completes the work. And he’s fine. It’s like he just needed to relieve that pressure and now it’s all okay again.

And I get it.

I understand that children going through this coronavirus pandemic are dealing with anxiety. This quarantine is hard! The coronavirus is scary! Jack is only 8 years old. He hasn’t been able to play with other kids for 12+ weeks and it’s hard. During the weekdays, when I’m the one home with him each day and I also have to juggle my full-time job, he’s not getting enough attention.

I get it.

But also, as a parent, I’m trying my best to raise a good human. And letting him having temper tantrums because he thinks his work is too hard isn’t teaching him how to deal with life.

I want to give him room to act out during this pandemic stuff, but I also am trying to raise him to be a good person.

I don’t really have any good way to end this blog post. If I had to guess, I’m thinking a lot of us are all going through the same thing. The weird balance of trying to get through this situation and also trying to raise a good kid. I guess all we can do is keep trying to do our best.

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4 thoughts on “Parenting through a Pandemic”

  1. I wish I had some great advice, but I’m in the same boat. My daughters are 9 and just now 8. It’s really difficult for them. My 8 year old in particular has struggled. I’ve heard a lot of “it’s too hard.” I think for her school is for school work and home is for everything else and it was difficult to combine the two. She was ok at first, but the novelty of school at home wore off quickly. I’m relieved the year is done, but I’m nervous about what next year will hold.

    1. Yes, a million times yes. I am so nervous that my already slow reader will fall so much further behind! I can only hope that the school system plans wisely to catch up when we missed out on so much of his 2nd grade year.

  2. Jack sounds like my son at that age, (my son is now 27). Everything you are doing is what I did, and I’m here to tell you, you’re doing a good job & it will be fine. The fact he is comfortable enough to express his frustration is a good thing, trust me, the ones that stuff down their fears and anxieties are much more worrisome.
    This too shall pass ❤️

    1. I keep telling myself that him acting terribly around me is because he trusts me to always love him. But… DUDE. Give mommy a break! haha

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