Faithful Parenting Through Coronavirus

We have all been affected by the Coronavirus, some more dramatically than others.  In this time of crisis, San Francisco parents face the unique challenge of being at home with their children for at least the next few weeks, possibly even extending further. 

With this forced upon us, parents are now tasked with rebuilding rhythms, balancing preparedness with a sense of safety, finding ways to homeschool and trying to make the best of this time of shelter in place.  It’s not easy. But parenting rarely is. It’s a new challenge and so, we need to tap into creativity, the guidance of the Spirit and lead our children with courage and faith in this time of uncertainty. Here are a few helpful guidelines that I’ve seen repeated in various places as well as some great resources to equip you to navigate this season well with Christ as the center of it all.

First, an excerpt from Andy Crouch’s guide (linked below) that we encourage you to read as a prayer over yourself, other parents and your children:

This means that all of us have a primary responsibility as leaders, as far as it depends on us, to be well-rested, soaked in prayer and contemplation, and free of personal fear and anxiety. We need to start and end each day as children of our heavenly Father, friends of Jesus, and grateful recipients of the Holy Spirit. We need to pray for genuine spiritual authority, rooted in the love that casts out fear, to guard and govern our lives as we lead, and trust that God will make up what is lacking in our own frail hearts, minds, and bodies.

There are four things that I keep reading that are helpful to keep in mind during these times:

  1. Create new routines  – children (and most adults) like routine and predictability, so they know what’s coming and what to expect.  It’s a big way to help them feel safe. Try to incorporate time for study, play, hygiene and connection, but keep it flexible as things are changing quickly these days!
  2. Do not give into fear – Our anxiety will leak out to our children, making them feel uncertain.  That doesn’t mean you can’t wrestle with anxiety or feel bad for worrying, just try to manage it by taking care of yourself through meditation, staying rooted in God’s love and leaning into friends and family that can listen and support you.
  3. Be a minister of grace – For your children and yourself.  Maybe let them finish their schoolwork later, or play a few more games that afternoon.  Perhaps today isn’t a 10-hour work day for you and some projects may need to get delayed.  Disruptions can be opportunities for growth and moments to extend love.
  4. Gratitude and joy are a lifeline – Remembering what good things you already have and delighting in the moments of laughter and celebration that pepper each day will go a long way to keeping a healthy household.

I encourage you to dig in together as a family to get through this season.  You may be surprised at how much goodness can come your way, even in a time of crisis!