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Pandemic Parenting

Pandemic parenting is causing parental burnout to spike at alarming rates. It’s difficult to balance the safety of your family with a variety of working/working from home and hybrid/remote/virtual schooling solutions. It’s unsustainable to put added pressure on yourself to handle it all flawlessly. There are times to go easy on ourselves and this definitely qualifies as one of those times.

Might we suggest daily mulligans for everyone? For non-golfers, mulligans are do-overs that don’t affect your score. Everyone deserves to learn from a bad shot and try again, particularly while parenting during a pandemic.

We are not only pediatric occupational therapists, we are also experiencing pandemic parenting and the stressors from COVID-19. As such, we appreciate the advice in this Psychology Today article, The 3-Letter Words Child Psychologists Love.

Yet. And. Pre. Why. Ish.

The words we use with ourselves and others matters. You don’t have to be a master of psychological jargon to understand why using these powerful 3-letter words can transform your outlook and emotions during these difficult days.

“Why” is a great word for parents as well, because it helps us understand why we can sometimes react so unevenly to stressors. Why can I stay so calm during a child’s meltdown, but react so strongly when one sibling is taunting another? Does it have to do with my own unresolved feelings about sibling bullying? Why are Tuesday nights so difficult in our home? Is there a way to manage the schedule on Tuesdays better?


“Why” is great for figuring out whether there are still ghosts from our past that are interfering with our parenting today. Frequently, when we do respond disproportionately with our children, it’s either due to our own stress levels or due to feelings from our childhood. Why helps us figure out the patterns that lead to our behavior. (To read more about Post-Traumatic Parenting, click here.)

Parenting is a relationship. Its focus ought to be on connection, not perfection; relationship, not rules. While it is difficult to find these days, parenting should also be FUN, which is one of our most favorite 3-letter words!

Learn more about Zier Institute’s parent programs by contacting larry@zierinstitute.com