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Wanner: Post-pandemic parenting plans
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Wanner: Post-pandemic parenting plans

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Businesses, agencies and organizations are busily working on plans for our post-pandemic future world.

Will enough people want to continue to work from home that workspace is sufficient as it is with no need to build more buildings or expand office spaces? What will business travel be like? Will it still be necessary? Do we trust seeing each other over our screens enough to “seal the deal” or do we need to meet face to face?

Will eateries still need the amount of seating they have had before or have we grown fond of take-home or delivered meals that we share around our own tables? A lot of “distanced” meetings are taking place to make the best projections for that day when we can safely emerge and share air again.

Have you thought about how you and your family will plan for post-COVID life? Even in the midst of the many trials brought on by COVID-19, families have developed some positive habits that they may want to savor and strive to keep into the future.

Although school will go back to in-person learning and school activities will begin again in earnest, is it your wish to sign up for everything that is offered? Will you start slow and build your family schedule? Will you jump back in with all of the busyness that was your life up until March 2020? Will you protect mealtimes, family game nights and doing projects together? Extracurricular activities take time, energy and money. Are these resources still available?

During the pandemic, many parents found the time to “Zoom” into a parenting class and work on some skills to build stronger relationships with their children and learn more about their child’s development. The North Dakota Parent and Family Resource Centers are now able to easily and conveniently serve parents and family members from around the state with helpful classes and resources.

Information is available for children and youth, ages birth through adolescence. Have you considered joining this growing trend to make your family life easier through virtual parenting classes? We even are offering free, one-hour classes on parenting in a pandemic. Register here: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pen.

Besides planning for the future, your family may want to pack a 2020 time capsule. What would you include? Some obvious suggestions are: photos with everyone wearing their masks, a homemade mask, a pocket-size hand sanitizer bottle and the cardboard tube from an empty toilet paper roll. You might add news headlines, something to signify your work or school changes, reminders of loved ones lost and, of course, items that remind us of new skills, special times together and our resilience in the face of adversity.

How would we ever capture the emotions of loneliness from isolation and fear for our loved ones? Conversely, how do we show the joy and gratitude of helpers and family members we have grown even closer with this past year? We are living through an unprecedented event. How will you remember parenting during the pandemic?

Upcoming NDSU Extension events

Call 701-667-3342 for help gaining access to virtual events or visit www.ag.ndsu.edu/mortoncountyextension for more information.

Monday: Spring Fever Forum, 6:30-8:30 p.m., in-person or online.

Monday: Positive Discipline, 6:30-8 p.m., Family Wellness in Mandan.

Thursday: Let’s Bake Together and Wear Blue Day for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

April 5 and 12: Spring Fever Forum, 6:30-8:30 p.m., in-person or online. 

Jacey Wanner is the parent family educator for the Parent & Family Resource Center - Region 7, a collaborative effort of NDSU Extension, Morton County and the North Dakota Department of Husman Services. She holds a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and a master’s degree in occupational therapy. 

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