Parenting has become synonymous with stress and anxiety during this pandemic. You don’t need us to tell you yet again that parents are overwhelmed, burnt out, and struggling to manage it all—child care, virtual learning, work, and so much more.
Good Morning America turned to Maven expert Parenting Coach and Mental Health Provider Mercedes Samudio for her tips for parents on navigating it all, for a live segment that aired Monday.
But first, GMA’s hosts wanted to know what exactly a “parenting coach” is, as it’s a new term for many people. Think of them as supportive professionals that help both a parent and their child be their best selves—individually and as a family unit. Parenting coaches are among the more than 25 different provider types in Maven’s virtual clinic, which is the largest of its kind for women and families.
Mercedes explained it best on GMA: “A parenting coach is a professional who supports parents in developing their identity and their unique parenting style so they can raise whole, healthy children.”
In the segment, Mercedes touched on a common question we’re hearing from parents: how to talk to your employer or your manager about your shifting schedule and needs. Mercedes shared tips for parents to approach these conversations at work, including:
- Set clear expectations about your schedule and how often it may change
- Ask what the policies are for adjusting your schedule if needed due to school or child care
- Make sure you have defined daily, weekly, and monthly responsibilities
- Focus on hitting your goals
- Check in with your supervisor frequently
Of course, it’s not all on parents themselves to navigate these challenging times. We know from our work partnering with leading employers that they’re committed to stepping up to support working parents, and adopting solutions and policies to create better workplaces for all of their employees.
While Mercedes shared tips for parents talking about their needs at work, on the other side of these conversations, people managers want tips and guidance as well—and they’re often turning to their HR leaders for best practices. We’ve got you covered! Checkout our tipsheet with Dos and don’ts for conversations with working parents, with guidance for managers from an expert Maven career coach.
“A parenting coach is a professional who supports parents in developing their identity and their unique parenting style so they can raise whole, healthy children.”
One thing the GMA segment kept coming back to: the uncertainty and anxiety isn’t going away anytime soon. Mercedes highlighted that parents are dealing with so many things “that are just completely out of their control” like whether technology works and other hiccups that can disrupt their days and force them to adjust their working hours.
As Mercedes reminded viewers, “this is a really new situation for a lot of parents and children”—which is adding to the stress and anxiety of it all.
Here are the tips Mercedes shared on GMA for parenting through the pandemic:
- Be flexible. “Things are definitely going to change from week-to-week, so you have to be flexible and open to assessing, re-assessing, and shifting things as needed.”
- Set a regular check-in with your family. “I think it’s really important to sit down with everyone at least once a week and say, “How are things going?” “How are you doing?” “What do you need help with?” And then using that information to try to make changes for the next week.”
- Find time to take a break. “Self-care is so important. Take time for yourself, rejuvenate, and model that for your children, as well.”
Mercedes also encouraged parents to reach out and ask for help. On Maven, we have parenting coaches and licensed mental health providers including Mercedes—along with providers across more than 25 specialties like pediatricians, OB-GYNs, lactation consultants, and career coaches—who are available anytime, anywhere for easy video appointments.
Earlier this month on the virtual stage at leading digital health industry conference HLTH, we unveiled our new Parenting & Pediatrics product—the first family health solution to integrate support for parents with specialized pediatric care to improve behavioral and clinical outcomes for parents and children. Want to learn more about Maven’s parenting and pediatrics program? Get in touch.
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