A message to parents and caregivers About Coronavirus
As a state and a nation we continue dealing with both doing our part to curb the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic and balancing our roles as caregivers, providers and support systems for families. Many changes have happened very quickly over the past several weeks in our homes, schools, workplaces and communities. We're adjusting to how we live, work, learn and play... and your incredible resiliency is inspiring. It's hard to be a parent on the easiest days. You and your families should be proud of the work you're doing, both inside and outside the home.
We encourage you to continue the work you're doing to keep your families and communities healthy, connected and safe during the coronavirus outbreak. Relaxing rules around screen time, including youth in conversations about why and how we wear masks, practicing social distancing and setting and reinforcing positive boundaries are all still great ways to manage stress.
As we move forward, remind yourself that there is no such thing as a perfect parent or child, and no parenting advice that works for every family, every time. You will need time away from your kids. You'll need a break from parenting 24/7. You'll need to know when the stress is too much and when to ask for help. Never forget that asking for help from your support system is one of the strongest things you can do as a parent, and that your support system, whether it's family or friends, are always there to help you.
The coronavirus has rewritten the rules on how we support each other, but the care and concern we have for each other hasn't changed. Continue reaching out to your neighbors, members of your congregation, friends and other community organizations to offer support from running errands to lending a listening ear.
Keep on being resilient and resourceful. Use this site and its many parenting tips, Coronavirus Resources and Real Talk advice to guide you as we enter the next phase of this journey together. And don't forget, help is always available. If you feel overwhelmed, upset or unable to control things, be a hero for your family and visit our Resource Finder.
Again, you're not alone. Parenting is hard, but it's worth it.
Some helpful resources include:
- If you need assistance finding food, paying house bills or other essential services dial 2-1-1 to speak to someone locally or visit 211Texas.org to find services electronically.
- If your employment has been affected by the coronavirus, apply for benefits online at the Texas Workforce Commission or by calling TWC's Tele-Center at (800) 939-6631 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday.
- The Texas Youth Helpline provides prevention services to youth, parents, siblings and other family members who are in need of a caring voice and sympathetic ear. Trained volunteers are on call to provide guidance on youth-related concerns, referral information or simply listen.
- Sharing the facts about COVID-19 and understanding the actual risk to yourself and people you care about will go a long way to reduce fear and stress.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics has this advice:
- No matter how young or old, children of every age need routines and schedules to manage their time.
- As mentioned earlier, any change, whether it's positive or negative, creates stress. Learn how to manage your stress and pick your battles.
- Help is always available. If you feel overwhelmed, upset or unable to control things, be a hero for your family and visit our Resource Finder.