Pandemic Parenting

Wondering what the next few months of pandemic parenting will look like? Struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance a year into the coronavirus outbreak?

An upcoming series of virtual events, hosted by The Sentinel and the Monadnock United Way's Impact Monadnock Business Ambassadors and Impact Monadnock, aims to help parents and guardians navigate these and other challenges of caring for children during the COVID-19 crisis. The free community listening sessions begin April 15, and continue the following two Thursdays.

A Sentinel journalist, joined by experts in the fields of mental health, child education and general well-being, will give local parents an opportunity to share their experiences and ask questions about what lies ahead for them and their kids. The events will be held via Zoom and limited to one hour to accommodate already stretched schedules. The goal of the events is to provide concrete advice to help families get through the next few months of the pandemic.

The sessions will supplement The Sentinel’s ongoing Pandemic Parenting series, which is supported by a competitive grant from the Solutions Journalism Network. (The Sentinel retains editorial control). Over the past five months, these stories have explored how pre-existing problems in child care access and affordability have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak, and how groups throughout the Monadnock Region are working together to present potential solutions to these challenges.

“The Pandemic Parenting series highlighted some of the significant problems parents have experienced during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Terrence Williams, president & COO of The Sentinel. “This set of listening sessions will extend the conversation with the goal of providing more help to those who are feeling the stresses brought on by the coronavirus and the impacts on schools, childcare, work, health and home life.”

Here’s the lineup of events:

April 15, 6:30 p.m. — Survival: Heal thyself

When you take a flight, the attendant instructs you that in an emergency, you should put your mask on first, and then help your child. Likewise, it’s important that parents and caregivers take care of themselves first if they are to endure the pandemic with their families. To register for this event, presented by Bethann Clauss of MAPS Counseling Services, visit https://ticketelf.com/events/pandemic-parenting-community-solutions-4-15-2021.

April 22, 6:30 p.m. — When homeroom is the home: What’s been lost during remote learning and how to tell

It’s one of the most difficult questions to answer for parents: Has this been a lost school year for my child? How can I tell? What should I do if my child is behind? Register at https://ticketelf.com/events/pandemic-parenting-community-solutions-4-22-2021. The presenter for this event will be announced soon.

April 29, 6:30 p.m. — The summer of our discontent: What’s ahead for busy parents?

With summer camps filled, and, in some cases, at reduced capacity, what’s the solution for households who need ways to keep their children active and engaged? Can workplaces help? What about parent groups? To register for this event, presented by Rebecca Lancaster of Stonewall Farm, visit https://ticketelf.com/events/pandemic-parenting-community-solutions-4-29-2021.

Editor's note: This has been changed to clarify the three co-hosting organizations' shared roles.

Jack Rooney can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or jrooney@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @RooneyReports.