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Parenting in Lockdown

We all know the saying "it takes a village to raise a child". This beautiful African proverb captures how important social support and "breaks"are for parents with young child. Parenting is a relentless and extremely difficult job, and having a "time out" from our children can increase the pleasure of parenting during times "in".

The national lockdown has stripped many parents of their village. Support from nannies, grandparents, teachers and friends disappeared over night. Concurrently, children are growing increasingly frustrated with being confined. So what can we do if we are increasingly getting into conflict with our children in this time?

1. Remember that anger and frustration towards your children is normal. We all lose our calm sometimes. Anger and frustration are all the more normal under abnormal circumstances, so don't be too hard on yourself if things feel "too much".

2. Take some time out where you can. At Ububele, we subscribe to Circle of Security International's idea that "time out" is for parents. If you are "losing your calm" and reaching your limits, find somewhere you can go for a few minutes to breathe and re:find your calm.

3. Talk to your children about their anger and frustration. When you are calm, facilitate an opportunity for your children to express their frustration in safe ways - with words, drawings or hitting something that can't be broken.

4. Seek out remote support. Although we can't meet up with a friend for coffee, we can still share our frustrations over the phone. Putting your frustrations in words, and sharing this with an empathetic listener reduces stress and helps bring calm. So reach out to that helpful someone in your life.

If you aren't quite sure who to call, or if you would like to talk to a professional, contact Ububele to set up a once off online consultation with one of our psychologists.

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