In the midst of the current pandemic, thousands of parents are stuck at home with their children, devoting hours to supplying them with entertainment, activities to stay stimulated before school, ways to remain motivated, and more. As a twelve-year-old girl observing my parents everyday while quarantined, I have learned that it is not easy to be a mother or father, especially during this time. We are all venturing through the uncharted waters of a world that’s fluctuating everyday, always bringing with it the unknown. Frankly, a couple months scientists were predicting the vaccine to be discovered and finalized by the beginning of May. However, a wise person once told me that “If you cannot change the situation, change your attitude towards it.” In this case, it’s almost impossible to completely eradicate the virus. So for all the parents out there, what should you do? The answer is simple; change your mindset.

Show Interest In Their Every Goal

Many parents turn to bribery in order to convince their children to complete a certain task (such as money, new clothes, etc.), but this is certainly not the right method one should use. In life, sustainability is key. And bribery is most definitely not a sustainable practice for parents. Rather than having your children extrinsically be motivated, guide them towards being intrinsically motivated. This is easily attained by displaying interest in their education, accomplishments, and every goal. Quite a few parents face the predicament of not being able to properly communicate with their child which does indeed serve as an obstacle in the realms of parenting. Every time your child comes to you with a newfound passion or inspiration, don’t shrug it off; engage, interact, and do anything you can to help them with establishing a persona of intrinsic resilience.

Know That Your Child Does Care

Trust me; the “grumpy teenager” stereotype isn’t fiction; it’s a blatant reality. During our teenage years, we undergo the most change. We change physically, mentally, and learn to adapt to our surroundings in completely disparate ways. And most of the time, teenagers tend to be the moodiest of all age groups. Numerous scientific studies confirmed that this is due to the biological shifts every adolescent encounters, chiefly in their teenage years. Although your child may sometimes act as if they have no care in the world, they really do; there are two reasons why they aren’t disclosing their interests to you:

They fear you’ll frown upon it and be unwilling to support them.

They’re hesitant as to how they should go about communicating with you.

So break these barriers and learn to gain your child’s trust by any means possible; trust is the predominant key in any relationship, whether it be a family member, friend, or significant other. Check out this Thrive article that discusses how to eliminate the factors stopping you from developing a mutual understanding with your child.

Jarring Phrases Don’t Help; No Really, They Don’t

Yelling or other harrowing parenting skills quite literally change the way in which your child’s brain develops. This is because humans recept and process negative occurrences more rapidly and thoroughly than positive ones; this causes for a release of chemicals that compound upon muscular tension, build stress hormones in the bloodstream, and trigger a mindset of paranoia, especially in youngsters. Now don’t get me wrong, discipline is very important; but yelling and using harsh judgement is not the equivalent of sufficient discipline.

Say your child fails a test at school; yelling and relegating their intelligence or capabilities is not a proper solution. Taking the time out of your day to sit down, calmly dialogue with them, and ultimately discover the root of their mishap is the most effective strategy. You should always have time for your children; they are not only your future, but the world’s future. The kids of today are the leaders of tomorrow. And it all depends on how they are raised and how their talents are harnessed.

Here are four ways in which you can discipline your child while abstaining from yelling:

  • Impose clear rules and boundaries
  • Discuss consequences ahead of time
  • Implement the consequences if requisite
  • Examine the reasons you yell and endeavor to replace them with a more beneficial tactic

In my published thriller novel, The Black Sisterhood Files, I briefly discuss how the killer’s main motives were childhood trauma. Now I’m not saying your kid’s going to be a serial killer if you yell at them a couple times. But approximately 60% of adults (with PTSD or other forms of psychological damage) say that their trauma was precipitated by childhood abrasion.

In conclusion, parenting really all dwindles down to one core fact: being able to steadily and virtuously communicate with your child/children. And communication is not uniform; it changes drastically for kids and the adult figures in their life. Thank you for taking the time to read; remember to stay safe and ensure that the pandemic is the perfect time to work upon improving relationships, whether that be with family, friends, or partners.