Pandemic Parenting of Small Children

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  • Hi All,

    I’m currently a stay-at-home dad with a toddler. I feel varying levels of success depending on the day but overall I feel like I’m failing.

    I look at the proposed schedules for small children during the pandemic and I feel dread and shame all over. I can’t even imagine approaching these schedules.

    My son wakes me up between 5 and 6 am every day. I have him remain in his room until 7, but still, there isn’t really sleep that occurs between wake up and get up times.

    In addition to ADHD I have some chronic health problems and my strength/resilience are not what they once were. So we start off with breakfast and watching TV – oftentimes with me napping because I’m so exhausted.

    Each day I try to make sure we do at least 2 “active” things. Sometimes its going to the “construction store” (home depot or lowes), tossing a ball around, going for a walk, searching for treasures I’ve placed in his rice and beans, doing “construction” projects around the house, and so on.

    But these activities don’t last super long – sometimes I can stretch an outing to 2 hours but much more often its 15 mins to 45 mins.

    Part of this is because I simply cannot stand doing certain activities for more than a few minutes and he won’t do the activity without my active participation – for example, I go nuts digging in the rice and beans OR playing a board game like Candyland.

    I wouldn’t feel so bad if he had other kids to interact with, but it is just me and him most of the day 5-7 days each week.

    So I find us watching a lot of TV, using his tablet, or one of my old computers.

    I have more to say but perhaps this is enough to get a conversation going?

    Thankfully in our area things are relatively under control with the pandemic and he will go back to preschool in a month…

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