Child-Mom can I play with my playstation?
Mom-Oh yes, go ahead! Says the mom, with a smile on her face.
Child- Are you sure? Because I just watched cartoons on the TV.
Mom-As long as you are happy, you have finished your schoolwork, I am cool with it.
Child-Mom you have changed, but we are enjoying your new AVATAR!
Some of us resonate with this, right? Our children are totally in love with their newly evolved parents and we love our newly found self.
WE CALL OURSELVES THE “CORONIAL PARENTS”
They are cooler, more relaxed, more patient, technologically advanced, mentally satisfied and HAPPIER!!! Even though they are juggling parenting styles while having to juggle the role of a teacher, guide, counselor, friend and parent. Not to mention work and housework, we have accepted the NEW NORMAL and have moved on.
As we are coming to the end of this unique, uncertain and unfathomable year, we have realised that our life has been transformed. We have started enjoying this slowing down and have begun to reassess our priorities and appreciate the things we truly value. The small elements of parenthood that were taken for granted have uncovered their true meaning.
Innovation, empathy and patience are key tools we have been deploying in the lockdown, to make it work for the family, amid the constraints of space, finance, privacy and social life.
Let’s find out the traits of the “coronial parents”
- GOING EASY ON THEMSELVES: Coronial parents have been performing so many roles, and then a time came when they realised that they cannot possibly perform all of them well. So instead of fretting, they went easy on themselves. They accepted the global health situation as a unique situation and they stopped beating themselves up for not functioning as per their usual high standards. They are now telling themselves – when we have that extra energy we will do the extra stuff. This is for their own mental wellbeing and peace, and for the wellbeing of their children too. After all, happy parents’ raise happy children. Maggie is now a common dinner delicacy and Netflix their hobby.
- FOCUS ON LIFE AND HUMANE SKILLS, NOT JUST ACADEMICS – Vega Schools, one of the best schools in Gurugram (EW India School Rankings 2020-21 – EducationWorld), have always focused on teaching 21st century skills to create children of the new world. It gives us joy to see how parents are now considering the humane aspect for their child’s overall growth and not just career and achievements. Parents are reexamining the traits they want to foster in their children: kindness and compassion over self centered competition, and empathy for those who may be struggling. With little or no domestic help, parents are now involving their young children to help in household chores and are encouraging teamwork among siblings. With so much shut down, postponed or temporarily changed, the traditional measures of success have been thrown out of the window. Kindness and decency have become as important as individual achievements.
- CUTTING THE CHILDREN SOME SLACK: From a highly overscheduled life to a relaxed routine, parents are being more lenient and liberal with their children than ever before. They are using this time to step back and take a break from the sometimes excessive rigour. For example, once online classes are over for the day, children are getting more extra time to do the things they love, entertaining screen time and downtime. Children are cooped up as well hence parents are balancing the need of structure along with a valid need for greater downtime.
- CORONIAL PARENTS ARE MORE FRUGAL AND ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY: It’s sad that we need a pandemic to teach us to reduce, reuse and recycle. But better late than never. Minimizing plastic at home, eating home-cooked food, spending more time together rather than on individual screens, today’s parents have finally discovered the art of parenting with limited resources. They are breaking the cycle of excessive consumerism by spending less money and looking for eco-friendly ways of living. Parents don’t always hand over a toy when their child throws a tantrum, instead they sit together to create a toy using old cardboard or plastic containers.
- CORONIAL PARENTS ARE INNOVATIVE: This is exactly what happens when we have limited resources but at the same time we have to fulfill our child’s wishes. Parents get creative and artistic. Some become storytellers. Today’s parents are all these and more. They are also technologically advanced and prepared for the new digital world. They have upgraded their knowledge by spending more time learning online. They are giving more importance to online bullying and social medial trolling so that they can educate and protect their children.
- SHIFT TOWARDS MORE QUALITY FAMILY TIME Parents have taken this opportunity to rekindle the relationship with their children. They never imagined they would have to self-quarantine themselves for so long. Some parents realized that the fast-paced life before Covid-19 struct had never given them the required family time, except for weekends which too were also loaded with personal errands, interests and engagements. Family meals and dinner table conversations now extend beyond “did you finish your HW?” to “so what was the happiest/most interesting part of your day?”. Homemade food, binge-watching family shows, baking, painting, working out together – today’s parents are doing everything to make sure that they enjoy life with their children.
- RELAXATION ON SCREEN TIME: Before the pandemic, every family had strict screen time rules, and now these rules have moved to the bottom of their list. Screen time once used to be a treat or a reward for children, but now it is a quintessential necessity, and parents have accepted it fully. Screen time rules have become flexible and everywhere children are feasting on tablets and handhelds. Coronial parents have enough pandemic related stresses hence they don’t waste their energy in micromanaging their child’s screen time. Parents are exhausted. If giving that phone to their child means a few extra minutes of naptime. Then parents are doing it.They are looking at the bigger picture now.
- IMPORTANCE TO PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES: Most Indian parents still consider academics as the primary criteria to select a school. While at Vega Schools, the top 5 schools in Gurgaon (EW India School Rankings 2020-21 – EducationWorld), believe in striking a balance between academics, interests and sports. This pandemic made parents realize how physical activity is important not only for health and immunity but also for the overall development of their child. During the lockdown more and more parents’ have requested online exercises, dance, Zumba, and even karate classes. Physical activities build lifelong habits of living a healthy and fit life. They also add to physical and mental toughness.
- IMPORTANCE OF MENTAL HEALTH IN EARLY YEARS: The most crucial shift in the parents’ mindset post-Covid-19 has been towards paying more heed to their child’s mental wellbeing. The tantrums are not looked down upon as minor behavior issues, instead parents are spending more time to understand their child better. They now know that a child as young as three or four may have emotional stress in the absence of friends, play dates and park visits. They are now taking the necessary steps to make sure that their children are safe, calm and happy.
Acknowledgment and acceptance are the new normal for Coronial parents. Focusing on the essentials and differentiating them from desirables, with an open mind are leading to fewer worries and fears.
If the pandemic is sparking wisdom of how fragile, interconnected and precious life is, then it is changing us for the better. It is teaching us a plethora of life lessons that will impact generations to come.
The Coronial parents want THEIR CHILDREN to REMEMBER THIS PERIOD AS A VALUABLE LEARNING EXPERIENCE.