NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Am I doing this right? That’s the question a lot of parents are asking themselves when it comes to pandemic parenting.

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“A baby who is born in March of 2020, they’re two now. Their whole life they have lived in a pandemic,” said Michele Tryon, a Parent Educator and Child Life Specialist with CHKD.

For many of those children, it’s been a life of social distancing and spending a lot of time at home.

“Parents are definitely concerned about socialization and they’re definitely concerned about academics,” added Tryon.

She says one of the best things you can do is create structure in your home and have a routine.

“So, if they don’t know if they’re going to virtual school or they’re going to do asynchronous learning or a snow day or whatnot, they have a flow to the day and a routine to the day is very important. That your children know that you are there for them, that’s what they can be certain of. That we will be a family no matter what. Even if omicron comes back, we are still going to be a family.”

In addition, one of the most basic and important relationships for a child is the one they have with a caring adult who responds to their needs in a nurturing way.

“They build attunement and attachment to that adult. That creates the brain structure for any relationship they will have in the future,” said Tryon. “There are many things we can do for parents so they don’t feel alone in this. If they have a social network, even if it’s future, then they’re feeling supported as they are caring for this young child.”

She says it is important to remember that you are not alone as a pandemic part and adds that playing is so important for children. If you’re looking for ideas at home and in the community, Tryon recommends the free site “My Active Child.”

“Charlotte Moore runs it. She has all kinds of virtual things that are available. In person things that are done safely. Lots and lots of ideas of games and tools and activities that you can do with your children.”

She also recommends the following free resources:

She adds that discipline is the number one topic with parents pre-pandemic and during.

“Children are feeling the stress as much as adults,” according to Tryon “So, when you have a stressed family unit, behavior issues pop up more.”

However, it is not always about behavior.

“We see the behavior, but it’s what’s driving the behavior that really needs to be addressed. So, just stopping the behavior is not necessarily the only step to take. You have to figure out, where is that behavior coming from?”

Tryon recommends a book called “Beyond Behaviors” by Mona Delahooke.

She says it is so important for you to remember that you don’t have to be perfect. Do your best, take care of your physical and mental health and know it’s going to be all right in the end.

To learn about more free parenting workshops and webinars from CHKD, click here.