10 Strategies for Coping with COVID-19

We talked to teachers, parents and other grandparents raising grandchildren starting the day schools were closed. Here are some thoughts. No one can do all of these! Pick and choose strategies you find most realistic and useful.

# 1 Name that Feeling

In a crisis, we all respond differently and our responses will change over time. There is no right or wrong response to the crazy year that is 2020, no one best or "right way.” How we are coping is as diverse as our communities. Still, there are things we can do to...

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#2 Establish your “Battle Rhythm”

The COVID-19 pandemic seems wickedly designed to challenge grandparents raising grandchildren--kids at home all the time, elevated personal health risks, and the world upside down. Do you feel like you may go crazy? One small defense against this confusion and...

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#3 Make Screen Time Better

Okay, let’s admit that everybody is struggling with this and everyone's rules have changed. As I write this post at 7 am, my son, age 11, is already begging for his Switch. His teenage sister is posting to TikTok. And we haven't even started with online school or the...

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# 4 Stop, Drop it, Exercise!

As we age, it seems that physical activity goes from being a joy to a chore. However, if my neighborhood is typical, COVID seems to have inspired new commitments to walking, including older people. Maybe folks have been inspired by Dr. Anthony Fauci, from the National...

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#5 Hello Out There

The words will define our era for the rest of our lives: “social distancing” and “self-isolating.” As grandparents raising grandchildren, you may feel as though you already have more than enough experience with this, for instance when your old friends lost touch as...

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#6 Plan Now for the Worst

Of course you are worried. One way to gain a sense of control in these turbulent days is to prepare now for what might happen. What will you do if you or your partner gets sick and needs medical care? As a grandparent raising grandchildren you probably have...

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#7 Be Surprised by Joy

March 22, 2020 – A little over a year ago I was standing at the window of my hospital room on 7 North. Two am. Waiting for the nurse to come in and hang the next bag of chemo. It had started to snow and even above the beeps, dings and relentless HVAC, I could hear the...

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#8 Grab Moments of Privacy

Cabin fever is a real: Mental health experts tell us that anxiety, extreme frustration, depression can hit three critical components of mental health: our sense of autonomy, our connections to others, and our feelings of competency and ability to manage. We take for...

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#9 Find Your Words

When will this time of trouble be over? Whatever today's confusing graphs and charts tell us, at some point the lines will bend toward the other side. We will come through. And like gold refined in the crucible’s fire, we will be changed. As we tell our children,...

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#10 Be Trauma Compassionate

Hurts can hurt again. As a grandparent raising grandchildren, you live with the consequences of childhood trauma even in the best of times. Your grandchildren have endured a lot. You may have experienced trauma yourself. Now you must cope this catastrophe. What can...

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