Photo by Gabriel Tovar on Unsplash

Fathers often feel the responsibility to protect their children no matter what, and during times such as these, that responsibility can feel particularly overwhelming. The COVID-19 outbreak has led to losses in jobs, lack of essential supplies, and uncertainty about the health and safety of the world. Despite these challenges, parents should know that with the handful of preparations below, they can continue to have confidence in raising their children and brightening their futures.

Utilize the extra family time

With many schools closed for safety precautions and businesses encouraging employees to work remotely, the chances are that your family has additional together time that wasn’t there before. While your schedules may be new and will take some time to adjust to, look at this period as an opportunity to grow closer and make new memories with your children and partner.

While you work on connecting with your family, take into consideration that certain public places and usual activities your children like to visit may not be available. Although this might present some planning obstacles and changes to your daily routines, use this as a time to switch things up and do things you typically don’t have enough time for o think of. There are activities you can do right from home—like taking fun pictures together, doing a puzzle, or working on small crafts. These small actions may seem mundane, but they can help little ones stay busy, create a peaceful and more productive environment, and can even harvest new traditions you can carry on after the return to a more normal, everyday life. A father plays a vital role in shaping their children, so remaining positive and acting as a role model despite difficult times can help your children’s mindset and attitude as well.  View this as a chance to bond with your child, rather than falling victim to unavoidable circumstances.  

Determine a back-up financial plan

The Economic Policy Institute projects that 14 million jobs could be lost by summer due to the coronavirus, with some states getting hit harder as a result of social distancing efforts and non-essential businesses forced to close. Regardless of your job security, it is a good idea for parents to have set plans for the future that will ensure the financial stability of their families.

A great place to start is to review your current insurance needs and possibly modify or shop for  life insurance. Designed to provide loved ones with financial support upon the unexpected passing of an income provider, parents especially need to establish a strong enough life insurance plan that will cover current costs (like credit card debt or mortgages) and future expenses (like sending children to college). With rising health concerns, this can also offer peace of mind to parents, helping them to provide and support their children no matter what. If you are concerned that a policy might not be affordable, talking to a professional can help you discover the lowest rates based on your situation and which type of policy could benefit your family the most.

Practice gratitude

In spite of the challenges that have followed this global pandemic, strong fathers can gain confidence in practicing gratitude and passing it along to their families. Amidst the disheartening news and statistics, taking time to think and write down what you are appreciative of in your life can offer a new perspective and encouraging outlook on raising your children during this time. Additionally, the more positive and encouraging habits your children see you practice, the more likely they will want to follow in your footsteps.

In fact, studies have shown that practicing gratitude can actually change your brain and can improve your mental health. So, although you may have experienced some hardships with the spread of the coronavirus either physically, financially, mentally, or emotionally, be sure to make time to be intentional and appreciate all that you do have. Simply talking to your children about thankfulness can instill strong character while diminishing less favorable feelings such as jealousy or discontentment.

When the future seems uncertain, find comfort in your loved ones and your ability to remain steadfast in leading the way for your little ones in this new world. Understand that you have the skills necessary to continue your duties as a parent, and this will only grow your knowledge, wisdom, and heart, making you a more robust father and parent.

Posted by Fathers Incorporated

Fathers Incorporated (FI) is a national, non-profit organization working to build stronger families and communities through the promotion of Responsible Fatherhood. Established in 2004, FI has a unique seat at the national table, working with leaders in the White House, Congress, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Family Law, and the Responsible Fatherhood Movement. FI works collaboratively with organizations around the country to identify and advocate for social and legislative changes that lead to healthy father involvement with children, regardless of the father’s marital or economic status, or geographic location. From employment and incarceration issues, to child support and domestic violence, FI addresses long-standing problems to achieve long-term results for children, their families, the communities, and nation in which they live.

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