April 13, 2020

Parenting Help

Help for Parents During and After COVID 19

All our lives have changed because of the coronavirus (COVID-19). It’s normal to feel anxious, scared, and helpless during emergencies like this.

Parenting is always challenging. It can be especially hard when we are stressed. Help is available. There is a community here to support you. Know that you are not alone.

Here are some tips and places to get help and information. We hope you find these helpful in both bad times and good times.

What can I find on this page?

  • Tips
  • Who can I call for help?
  • Where can I find more information?


Take care of yourself.
The better you take care of your body and mind, the better you can care for others.

Follow this link for more help with managing stress: www.unicef.org/coronavirus/covid-19-parenting-tips#5

Talk to your child about changes.
Explain that they do not need to be afraid. We are all making changes to keep everyone healthy. Remember that your child has limited ways of expressing themselves. Try to understand their feelings, and help them to express themselves.

Follow this link for more tips on talking with your child about COVID-19: www.unicef.org/coronavirus/covid-19-parenting-tips#6

Stick to a flexible, but regular, daily routine.
Your child will feel better knowing what to expect every day.

Follow this link to find more tips about creating routine and structure: www.unicef.org/coronavirus/covid-19-parenting-tips#3

Stay positive.

New challenges can be very stressful. Tempers will be short. Be patient. Focus first on kindness in your home.

Children are more likely to do what we ask if we give them positive instructions. Include lots of praise for what they do right.

Follow this link to get more tips for keeping it positive: www.unicef.org/coronavirus/covid-19-parenting-tips#2

Set aside time to spend with each child.
It can be for just 20 minutes, or longer. It can be at the same time each day so children or teenagers can look forward to it.

Follow this link to get more tips for one-on-one time with your child: www.unicef.org/coronavirus/covid-19-parenting-tips#1

Make learning fun!
Use the learning resources your school gave you. Read together. Do puzzles. Play games.

Check out the learning and information resources, below.

Stay active at home.
Exercise keeps the body strong. And it lessens anxiety.

When possible, take a walk outside. Follow safety rules and keep 6 feet away from others.

Stay connected with friends and loved ones.
You can use the phone, social media, or even hand-written notes.

We all need each other.

Avoid physical punishment.
It can establish fear in your home. It can lead to more and more violence.

Remember that behavior problems are often a sign of stress in your child. Try to understand what your child is feeling when they have undesired behavior. Try to calm their emotions. Try to change behavior by teaching instead of punishing.

See “Where can I find more information?” (below) for ways to avoid physical punishment.

Catch bad behavior early.
Remember that behavior problems are often a sign of stress in your child. Try to provide a calm, regular routine. Avoid responding with anger. This can increase your child’s stress.

Follow this link for more help with managing bad behavior: https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/covid-19-parenting-tips#4

Who can I call for help?

These resources all provide free and confidential support:

  • NY Parent Helpline: 1-800-CHILDREN (1-800-244-5373)
  • NYS Office of Mental Health Emotional support line: 1-844-863-9314
  • University of Rochester Medical Center Behavioral Health Crisis Line: 585-275-8686 or 585-529-3721

Where can I find more information?

Learn ways to manage
and reduce stress for
yourself and others.
Learn more about managing anxiety in difficult times.
Food resources, learning resources, RCSD helpline and moreRochester City School District (RCSD) https://www.rcsdk12.org/domain/11475
Connect with other parentshttps://stopspanking.org/resources/
(After selecting this link, scroll down to “Online Parenting Support Groups”)
Alternatives to physical punishmenthttps://stopspanking.org/resources/
Preventing tantrumshttps://stopspanking.org/nip/tantrums/
Learning activities for kidshttps://www.healthikids.org/blog/resources-for-families-covid-19
Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing
Club SciKidz
“Where science and technology connect”
Free math games and skill practice online
Free, easy science for online learning
ScratchJr is an introductory programming language that enables young children (ages 5-7) to create their own interactive stories and games.
ScratchJr is available as a free app for both iPad and Android tablets.
Learn a language for free.
You need to set up an account.
“For as long as schools are closed, we’re open. Starting today, kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages.”
How your child grows and learns. Information about all ages and stages of development.American Academy of Pediatrics web site
In English and Spanish
Sign up for free parenting newsletter.
Includes “COVID-19: Information for Families of Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs”
Keep kids active indoors (even if you don’t have much space)https://www.todaysparent.com/family/activities/15-ways-to-keep-kids-active-indoors-even-if-you-dont-have-much-space/
“GoNoodle® engages 14 million kids every month with movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts.” Free. https://www.gonoodle.com/
Helping kids with anxiety“If you or your child gets entangled in anxiety and need help, check out GoZen!” Some resources are free; others require payment.

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