Some people are probably doing more parenting than they bargained for right now, with the kids off school for the foreseeable future!
It can be a struggle for everyone. We are all only human, adults and kids alike.
Here are my top tips for feeling confident and in control:
1. Your kids won't hate you if you tell them they can't do something. They may protest, but they will love you all the same once the protesting dies away.
2. Think before you say no. Sometimes we say no in a hurry because our initial instinct is that whatever they're asking to do is going to be messy, hard work, tedious, etc. If you think it's something you might quickly be persuaded into, instead of saying no, say something like, "Give me a minute to think about that." You can then weigh up the pros and cons. Saying no and then changing your answer to yes because you've realised it's not such hassle after all gives the kids the hope that wheedling will always change your mind!
3. Try to remain calm in the face of mayhem. Shouting adds to chaos and elevates an already fraught situation. Plant your feet firmly on the floor, breathe steadily and imagine you are wearing gravity boots that are anchoring you to the floor. This will help you to ground and you will then find it easier to be firm without shouting.
4. You are the adult. Kids try to run rings around us with clever responses and emotional persuasion. Explain why you want something to stop/aren't allowing something to happen, etc., in a firm voice. Look them in the eye. Don't promise something for another time that you know you won't deliver. If you offer an alternative and it's rejected, say something like, "Well, the offer is there. Come and let me know what you decide when you've calmed down."
5. Take time to play with your children. Not everyone enjoys playing children's games (and you won't get back the 30 mins you spend playing Barbies) but right now is a perfect time to get to know your children better and to forge bonds that will last beyond this pandemic. No phone, no distractions, just play time. Knowing that you have genuinely given them your undivided attention, you can return to adult pursuits with a clear conscience.
6. And remember that if you are doing your best, your best is good enough.
I hope these tips are helpful!