• 5 Essential Parenting Strategies for Parenting in the Pandemic and Beyond—Mighty Parenting 231 with Carol Muleta

  • parenting in the pandemic

    COVID-19 charged into our world in 2019 and upended our entire lives, regardless of where we lived, how much we made, or whether we had kids or not. Now, three years later, we’re living in a world irrevocably changed and maybe we should be used to that by now—but those changes certainly haven’t made parenting any easier or less stressful. Parenting consultant Carol Muleta is raising twin teens and knows intimately the struggles of parenting in the pandemic. She joins Mighty Parenting podcast host Sandy Fowler to share parenting strategies, tips for regaining the joy in raising a child, and a reminder that we are not alone and never have been in this effort—even if it feels like we are.

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    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    As new opportunities or events pop up, see how it fits into your framework of how you want to spend your day, how you want to spend your week. Incorporate those things that work and say no to those things that don’t work. 

    High Points From Our Conversation on Parenting in the Pandemic:

    Quote on parenting in the pandemic

    People have grown weary of the pandemic and some are dealing with it by growing skeptical and dismissive. Parenting in the pandemic is tiring, but most families have started reclaiming their lives responsibly.

    How can we reclaim our lives in a smart way that keeps us safe while still allowing us to have joyful and meaningful lives?

    Carol has a model for helping parents to give their children a strong foundation for life in and out of crises.

    5 C Model:
    • Connection – making room for the magic of really getting to know your child and creating that foundational relationship
    • Clear and Concise Communication – look and listen, remember communication goes both ways; this builds mutual respect
    • Compass – giving your children boundaries to inform and empower them
    • Choices – giving problem-solving skills to make informed choices
    • Consequences – teach them how to assess and deal with the outcomes of their actions, good or bad

    The 5 Cs help strengthen our kids and support them in confronting crises. They might get knocked off-course now and again, but the 5 Cs help them recover and re-assess.

    Life isn’t about having tools and skillsets so that nothing difficult ever happens; it’s about having tools and skillsets to navigate and handle difficulties when they happen (because they will).

    Connection with our teens is essential—especially after over two years of pandemic living. Parenting in the pandemic has meant and means, for many parents, being parent, teacher, coach and other roles while handling COVID-related work or financial stress. With all that extra pressure, that connection gets strained.

    Pre-pandemic there wasn’t time for real connection as most parents have very busy lives. The pandemic has given us time to be together and really talk with and try to understand our children. Listening to them and expressing genuine interest in their interests and concerns regarding the pandemic is a good way to start rebuilding that connection.

    Parents have learned more about their kids since spending more time together in the same space; even with schools re-opening, kids still spend more time at home than usual, so take advantage of that time to continue growing your connection with your child.

    Invest your time in teaching them valuable life skills, such as laundry, organizing belongings in different spaces, planning out their time (scheduling their days), basic cooking, some foundational financial management (such as budgeting).

    Explore hobbies—share yours and ask them to teach you about theirs (e.g. read books and discuss them, or learn to play pick-up basketball, or work together on learning to crochet).

    Regularly check in. Isolate a chunk of time every week to set aside your other responsibilities and tune into your kid’s life. Engage in something with conversation: play a game, talk, share anecdotes and thoughts, reminisce. 

    Spend special time that’s just for your kids (set up some one-on-one time with each kid if you have more than one, and then set up a time for all of you together); it could be anything from 10-15 minutes a day to 30-60 minutes once a week—whatever works best for you.

    Do not go back to normal; the world may be opening up again, but don’t lose the habits and time spent building and reinforcing family connections. Parenting in the pandemic has been hard, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t learned anything from it.

    It’s got to take some work to keep up valuable habits and family time/activities/connections without slipping back into pre-pandemic routines. Start with establishing your values and create a mission statement for your family and for yourself.
    • Try creating a vision board as a family or write down what each/all of you hope to accomplish 
      • Identify the time frame and the different areas in which you have goals (financially, academically, in extracurriculars for your kids, etc.)
      • Write down steps: how am I going to make this come to fruition?
    • Keep good changes/habits
      • Plan! Make time on your calendar for the things that worked—put it/them in your schedule (day, week, month, year)
      • Stay committed and honor your commitment to yourself and your family about how you’re gong to live your life
    • It’s easier to say no to non-helpful habits or things that don’t work when you have everything articulated to yourself and written out

    When setting goals together as a family, there may be conflicts; two people’s goals or dreams may not be compatible. Communicate clearly and compromise where possible.

    Goal setting and creating a vision board together creates connection. It also allows you to help and support each other more, as well as hold each other accountable as you take steps towards those achieving those goals and dreams for the coming year.


    The Parenting Odyssey: Trials, Treasures, and Triumphs of Parenting in a Pandemic 

    Find Carol’s podcast, The Parenting 411, on your favorite podcast player

    Strategies For Dealing With Social Isolation With Teenagers | Sandy Fowler | Episode 116

    Supporting Teenagers During Covid | John MacPhee and Janis Whitlock | Episode 145

    Digital Wellness for Teens and Families | Kai Hersher | Episode 154

    Our Guest Carol Muleta:

    Carol Muleta talks about parenting in the pandemic

    Carol Muleta is a Parenting Strategist and Consultant.  She created The Parenting 411, a portal where she engages parents and awakens the JOY in their journey with her fresh approach to addressing challenging behavior, building strong family connections, and fostering children’s success in school and in life.  Carol reaches parents through workshops, webinars, group coaching, and The Parenting 411 Podcast.  She was named 2019 District of Columbia Mother of the Year® by American Mothers, Inc.  As host of the Parenting 411 radio show for six years, she was named Radio Personality of the Year at SpeakerCon 2019.  A 5x best-selling author, she recently released The Parenting Odyssey: Trials, Treasures, and Triumphs of Parenting in a Pandemic.  Carol is the proud mom of twins sons who are now young adults.

    To learn more or connect with our guest visit www.carolmuleta.com.

    From Sandy:

    Are you stressed but don’t have time to deal with it? Grab Sandy Fowler’s complimentary lesson at http://sandyfowler.com/notime to find out how to start feeling better today.

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