Anne Helen Petersen shared a tweet that they were doing some research on how pandemic impacted the parenting.
I responded to the questions and it was an interesting time when I thought about how parenting changed in the pandemic—particularly because I moved from an office to my home-office. (The Google form is still open and you can respond if you want to.) If the survey is closed for participation, I have added a screenshot later in this port, for your reference.
Early days—the first three months
In the very early days of the pandemic when I started working from home, I noticed how my son was changing quickly in his expectations from me. He was eight years in March 2020. Even though I had a separate room for my home office he had an unconditional access to me for anything he needed. His home-schooling meant that sometimes he needed my support for Zoom set up, using chat to respond to a teacher, downloading assignments from emails, using WhatsApp and Telegram and so on.
Gradually, he took two things for granted:
- Dad is faster than Google search
- Dad is always around for any help in the homework
- Dad can be requested to play anytime
In September 2020, we realized that since I was working from home, my partner could also apply for some suitable job. She got a work from home job in regulatory affairs in a multinational healthcare category company.
The kid learnt that mom too could work and she could be busy. It meant even more ready access to the father but he learnt how to wait when both the parents are busy. He was beginning to learn and then take interest in how phones and laptops work for advanced features.
Things took another turn by the third quarter of the year 2021 when my son found Minecraft. Within a few weeks, he was addicted and his behavior changed drastically. His etiquettes in certain situations went for a toss and we had to readjust our approach in how we explain a few things to him.
There was a sharp decline in our basic family discussions such as on the food table or during house-cleaning because Minecraft had changed him to an aggressive kid. Soon I saw the signs and it was alarming.
There were moments when I was too stressed—I never played any games in my life and I did not like to see him playing games. We had countless hours of friendly conversations and stories of kids and family life across the generations—my own childhood, our friends, our habits, lessons, and I took him outdoors for a variety of activities and sports. But the impact was momentarily—sometimes it lasted only for a few hours.
I am yet to find a solution as he is still hooked to Minecraft.
Anne’s study had a question as—”If you had to write a detailed book on your pandemic parenting experience, what would its title and subtitle be? (Don’t feel like you have to be clever, this is just an exercise to try and figure out what part you feel like you really want to talk about.)
- Title: Pandemic changed the parenting forever.
- Subtitle: The left brain and right brain might be a lot different now 24 hours in the pandemic for their structure, impulse, and functioning—we need to study these again.
Here is a screenshot of the study questions.