Help for pandemic parenting

Here are some parenting tips to help you cope and navigate through the pandemic

Parents, we see you! Here's how to help your family live healthier, longer, better lives during these trying times.Parents, we see you! Here's how to help your family live healthier, longer, better lives during these trying times.

BEING a parent is a full-time job. Managing schedules, organising fun activities, creating learning opportunities and making sure the kids are fed are just the tip of the parental iceberg.

With the uncertainties of the future and the pandemic resulting in many health concerns, most parents are finding themselves facing new and often, very stressful, family situations. When the stress and strain is left unchecked for too long, it can eventually lead to burnout and perhaps even worsen the situation at home.

Whether you’re already a parent or are planning to be one soon, here are some parenting tips to help you cope and navigate pandemic-parenting:

1. Burnout

When the quality of our work, tidiness of our homes or the meals we’re cooking for our family seem to be missing the mark, it’s easy to feel like we’re letting our family down. Especially when our friends seem to be having everything in order, it makes us feel even worse. But hey, let’s not forget that we’re in the middle of a global emergency health crisis and we’re not alone. Be kind to yourself.

Sometimes when you’re feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, it’s good to take a breather by doing the following:

  • Taking a walk to clear your mind, even if it’s just within your house compound.
  • Calling up your closest friend and ranting about everything that went wrong.
  • Ordering your favourite dessert and not sharing it with your kids or your spouse.

Remember, you’ve given your best and you deserve this break so you can continue being the amazing parent you are.

2. Being the homeschool teacher

To some of us, this may be the biggest stressor of all. Besides staying on top of things for your own job, you’ve now also got to make sure your kids are attending all their classes, completing their homework, and staying on track.

However, it’s important to remember that this is a stressful time for kids as well. For older kids who had attended school in person pre-pandemic, academic regression or behavioural changes are bound to occur due to the abrupt change in their learning environment coupled with environmental uncertainties.

Some ways to help your kids cope better with school could be to:

  • Collaborate with other parents to organise virtual learning activities or study groups in new and creative ways.
  • Communicate with your child’s teacher to better understand their academic strengths and weaknesses, as well as learning type.
  • Set a schedule so you and your child will be able to plan a suitable routine for them to study without sacrificing play time.
  • Create goals with rewards to give your child something to work towards and give them a sense of accomplishment.

3. Dealing with an anxious child

Children tend to perceive and understand more than we notice. Some stressors could include:

  • Overhearing an adult conversation or watching the news about the pandemic.
  • Having their regular school routines interrupted.
  • Having their entire routine changed to fit within the safety confines of the pandemic.

If you’ve noticed a change in your child's behaviour (be it acting out or being more recused), it’s important to make it a priority to address your child's fears and reassure them of their physical and emotional well-being.

Here are some tips on dealing with an anxious child:

  • Speak with them at an age-appropriate level. For young kids, providing simple and direct answers would do. But if your child is older, you could help them find accurate information on the pandemic from credible sources to aid their understanding.
  • Listen and be understanding so your child will feel that their home is a safe space for them to express their distress.
  • Designate special one-on-one time to create an opportunity for you to bond with them over an activity of their choice.
  • Arrange virtual playdates with their best friends or family members to give them the opportunity to socialise with other kids from a safe distance.

4. Feeling worried about your own and your child’s health and wellbeing

It’s completely normal for every parent to worry about their child’s health and overall wellbeing, especially during these challenging times. By extension, it’s also understandable for everybody to feel anxious and uncertain about their loved ones’ future.

With these concerns in mind, AIA Malaysia has stepped up to play an active role in supporting and protecting families every step of the way through its Total Health Solution. The ecosystem focuses on empowering Malaysians to live well through AIA’s unique health programme AIA Vitality, protect well with comprehensive and innovative product solutions, and get well with differentiated healthcare services that provide support from diagnosis to recovery.

Protecting those critical childhood years

If you happen to be scouting for a comprehensive protection and savings plan for your child, you can consider A-Life Joy Xtra, a flexible all-in-one plan recently launched by AIA.

Fitted with the benefits of the company’s exclusive Total Health Solution ecosystem, this new solution gives parents like you a peace of mind knowing that your child will have access to quality healthcare and protection during those all-important developmental years. You are also able to set aside some money in this plan to build an education savings fund for your child.

AIA’s ‘Anakku Sihat, Negaraku Hebat’ campaign supports parents in raising healthy and happy children.AIA’s ‘Anakku Sihat, Negaraku Hebat’ campaign supports parents in raising healthy and happy children.

It is the first in the market that comes with a feature that reimburses you for the cost of medical treatment and hospital related charges if your baby is admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or High Dependency Unit (HDU) within the first 30 days of birth.

Additionally, it protects children from as early as 13 weeks of pregnancy, through to birth, childhood and beyond (covering congenital conditions, child developmental disorders) and expecting mothers against pregnancy-related complications.

Plus, its Vitality Joy Wallet feature unlocks greater protection for the children when their parents join AIA Vitality and make healthy choices in their everyday lives. As they say, healthy parents, happy children!

The plan also comes in a takaful option, A-Life Ikhtiar Child Solution for customers who prefer shariah-compliant solutions.

Additional assurance for a vulnerable population

As the battle with Covid-19 continues, expecting mothers and children in Malaysia are now becoming an increasingly vulnerable population, with over 320,000 infants and children having contracted the virus since the start of the pandemic and over 106,000 infections in children aged seven to 12 having occurred in 2021 alone. Reports have also shown an average increase of 200 cases per month for expecting mothers since October 2020.

Against this backdrop, AIA is offering a Free Covid-19 Hospital Income Cover for children and expecting mothers where they will receive up to RM150 per day for a maximum of 14 days if they are diagnosed with Covid-19 and require hospitalisation. Those who are interested can approach any AIA Life Planner to register. No purchase of any AIA plans is needed to enjoy this free cover.

The two new plans and the Free Covid-19 Hospital Income Cover are all part of AIA’s ‘Anakku Sihat, Negaraku Hebat’ campaign to support parents in raising healthy and happy children. The campaign will also host a series of webinars, workshops and antenatal classes with their respective partners.

FInd out more and sign up here.

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