Help! I'm stuck at home with my kids!

By now we all have "Coronavirus Burnout" and "Pandemic Fatigue."  Parents are still juggling schedules and ever-changing school plans along with challenges and uncertainty at work.  The kids' routines have been disrupted, they miss their friends and teachers, they may feel anxious about the news or confused about the latest changes in their lives.  

Take a deep breath. It all doesn't have to get done today. Each day can be a fresh start.  Your first job is to keep your children safe and fed.

For urgent needs: 

  • Call 211, or call our office if you need assistance getting enough food to feed your family.
  • "Being a parent is a critically important job, 24 hours a day. It’s not always easy.  Asking for help is a sign of strength." Call the National Parent Helpline at 1-855-427-2736 to get emotional support from a trained advocate.
  • Call Riverbend Emergency Services 24/7 Psychiatric Crisis Hotline at 1-844-743-5748 if you or a family member is having a mental health crisis.
  • For information on C0VID-10 and Mental Health visit

A few things for everyone to try:

  • Repeat a phrase to yourself in moments of stress or frustration such as "It all doesn't have to get done today." or, "The kids are safe, this [whatever is happening at the moment] is not an emergency."
  • Use the phrases "I need a minute" "I can't talk about that right now" and let your children know that means you are very frustrated and they should give you time to calm down (easier said than done- this is a learning process).  Give your kids space when they use these phrases. 
  • Remember when tempers flare, or you are about to explode - WALK AWAY.  WALK AWAY before you say hurtful words.  WALK AWAY before you use physical violence.  You can always offer to "re-do" or "restart" the conversation with your child later. We all make mistakes- we can work together to fix our mistakes, repair hurt feelings, and clean up messes.
  • Get OUTSIDE everyday. Avoid coming with in 6 feet of people who are not living with you.  Explore local walking trails (such as the Audubon walking trails, Winant Park, Marjorie Swope trails in Concord), walk around your neighborhood keeping a safe distance between families, get some energy out running at an open field.
  • Take a bath or shower everyday. It's an activity. It takes up time. It gets us clean. (We're not talking about preventing Coronavirus here- it's just a relaxing distraction). Use warm, not hot water, no soap, and moisturize after with unscented lotion or aquaphor/vaseline if your child has dry skin. Never leave young children unattended in the bath.
  • If you need to use screens for a break, don't worry about it. But choose quality programs - check out PBS KIDS. Watch out for inappropriate content that may come up when kids watch youtube unattended. Check out for age-appropriate shows on Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.
  • Learn ways to reduce stress together- apps such as Headspace, Calm, Insight Timer and Stop Breathe & Think offer free meditations for parents and children. Cosmic Kids Yoga on youtube or the app has entertaining yoga videos for kids (and adults).
  • Humor helps. Joke about what a "disaster" the day was.  Share funny memes or videos that you relate to. When things are falling apart or "no one is listening" use a silly voice or song or break into a dance to vent your frustration.

See the links below for tips to call on when you are frustrated or angry with your kids, or when your kids are anxious and acting out.

Talking about Coronavirus/COVID-19 with your family: 

For parents of newborns:

For parents of babies and toddlers:

  • Challenging behaviors? Tantrums? Biting? Check out these resources from Zero to Three.
  • Tips for Families: Coronavirus from Zero to Three
  • Hearing a baby or toddler cry can be very difficult, especially when parents are already anxious and stressed and you haven't had a break. Your job is NOT to stop the crying. Take deep breaths. Check that your baby is safe, fed, and as comfortable as possible.  Check out this resource, Coping with Crying in Babies and Toddlers from Zero to Three for reassurance and guidance. 
  • "Being a parent is a critically important job, 24 hours a day. It’s not always easy.  Asking for help is a sign of strength." Call the National Parent Helpline at 1-855-427-2736 to get emotional support from a trained advocate.

For parents of school aged children:

For older kids and teens:

  • Get OUTSIDE everyday.  Move your body everyday.
  • Use technology to connect with friends, but take breaks from social media and screens several times a day.
  • Find Lynn Lyons, Psychotherapist on Facebook and watch her (now prerecorded) livestream addressing anxiety and coronavirus. She continues to add more content and resources daily.
  • For information on C0VID-10 and Mental Health visit