How Do I Parent In A Pandemic?

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Posted by: Sue Atkins

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Show notes:

In This Special Episode :

How Do I Parent In A Pandemic?

(only available to Members of Sue’s Parenting Club Online)

Listen to the Expert Interview

Connect with The Authors





Sue talks about School Closures and offers practical tips to get the best out of this challenging time with your children.

Download Sue’s new E-Book!!  ALL PROFITS GO TO THE NHS

Tina Stubbs creator of ‘Life’s Little Bugs’ and myself noticed that all the Coronavirus advice was aimed at adults and yet this global health crisis will have a HUGE impact on children as well!  We have joined forces to help parents and children to understand what’s going on, to reassure them that it’s going to be ok, and to help parents talk calmly and informatively to their children about the way to stay healthy and safe – through a simple eBook!


This is a lovely, and very helpful, book for parents of younger children. The children may have heard something about coronavirus, but not quite understand it. Or they may be scared. Or not know what to do. Sue and Tina have produced a lovely illustrated rhyming story that covers all the basics of hygiene, in a fun and engaging way. I love the story and the illustrations. Well done both. And the proceeds go to the NHS, so there’s NO reason not to buy this lovely little online book. Highly recommended! Paul FitzGerald Director & Founder at Decision Point 1

Let’s look at Parental Wellbeing & Mental Health during this highly stressful Coronavirus Challenge

Tips to Your Wellbeing

Handling Stress

Changes in your life, even positive ones, can be stressful, especially if you think you can’t cope. For example, having a baby is a life-changing – and stressful event for many people, kids turning into teenagers can be another, with lots of stress factors in between when you’re raising a family.

Feeling uncertain, not having control over your environment, and having too much to do and not enough time to do it are also big causes of stress. It’s easy to see how a new baby might create this kind of stress in your life, or a toddler who has public tantrums, or a teenage child who’s pushing the boundaries.

And then there are the everyday hassles – for example, getting yourself and the children out the door and off to school and work on time, getting the kids to do their homework, make their bed or brush their teeth!


Signs that you might be stressed

  •  worrying about absolutely everything
  • drinking too much alcohol, smoking or using drugs
  • finding it hard to be tolerant with your partner or children
  • having trouble sleeping
  • not feeling well – perhaps you have headaches or other aches and pains
  • not wanting to get out of bed in the morning
  • having thoughts like ‘I’m never going to get out of this mess’
  • feeling that you’re not managing practical everyday things, like family routines and finances.

In the webinar I cover:

  • Simple stress management tips
  • Getting to know what makes you stressed
  • The Importance of Positive Thinking and Self-talk
  • The 5 Ways to Wellbeing
  • Scientifically Proven Tips for Self-Care





The Six Needs of Every Successful Relationship – These Are The Keys to Lasting Love & Passion.



 Grow Old With Me – The Best is Yet to Come

Related product:

We recommend this product for helping with the issues raised on this podcast.

Tina Stubbs & Sue Atkins’ Coronavirus Children’s eBook – Ant I Viral & The Virus

Tina Stubbs creator of ‘Life’s Little Bugs’ and Sue Atkins the ITV & Disney Junior Parenting Expert noticed that all…

View product

Don’t Stew – Ask Sue Parenting Q & A

Q. Dear Sue, my 15 year old daughter Roshni has started staying out later than we would like and has started telling lies about small things but I’m really worried she’ll start lying about the big things too. What do we do about it? Rachita Laghari from Nottingham

Listen to Sue Discuss the Answer on her Podcast.

Why teenagers lie – and what to do about it.


My Advice

It’s the truth: Teenagers lie. In fact, research by Nancy Darling, an expert on teens and lying, shows that close to 96 percent of adolescents lie to their parents. In another study, 82 percent of high school and college students admitted to lying to their parents in the previous year. Either way, teen lying is more common than many adults might think.

In addition, parents aren’t always good at recognising when their teens are lying. And when they do discover a lie, they don’t have effective strategies for how to deal with a lying teenager. Thus, they may respond with anger and punishment. As a result, they drive their kids further away.

Hence, a more successful approach involves establishing a baseline of honest, open parent-teen communication.

Work at staying CONNECTED

Your teenager is experiencing mental, physical and emotional changes that require adjustments on her part and yours. The rate of a teenager’s growth is second only to that seen in infancy, according to Child Health Explanation. Some traits and characteristics of teens have been explored in order to understand why your teenager acts the way she does.

Teens test boundaries, they test themselves – they are searching for their identity and will probably challenge your values, what you stand for and what you say.

Keep the lines of communication open – don’t withdraw – look for simple ways to connect – over a car drive, a meal, a family outing, without nagging, moaning or bossying them around – build bridges not walls between you.

Keep the bigger picture – kids pretend you are uncool and that they don’t want to spent time with you but a lot of it is bravado

There are so many stresses on teens these days from exam pressure, social pressure, social media and FOMO – that teens need you just as much but not in the same way.

Step Back – press your pause button – know when you step in and step back.

Chat, listen, don’t lecture – and find things to do together that are fun – we watched Top Gear, went to watch Chelsea FC and ate a bowl of Chilli regularly together that their Dad cooked ( his signature only dish!)  – we also played the odd board game.

So why do teenagers lie more than any other age group?

In part, this may be due to changes in the brain. As the adolescent brain matures, emotional regulation and impulse control improve. Therefore, risk-taking behaviours decrease. And lying qualifies as a risk-taking behaviour.

Three Types of Teen Lying

Nancy Darling, PhD, professor and chair of the psychology department at Oberlin College, has researched teen lying for more than 20 years. Hence, she has studied some 10,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 24. And her team has done research in countries including the United States, Chile, the Philippines, Italy, Sweden, and Uganda.


Dr. Darling and her team have identified three basic types of teen lying:

Lying by avoidance: This strategy involves steering parents away from topics that teens don’t want to talk about. Therefore, teens distract their parents from conversations that might force them to reveal information that they don’t want to share.

Lying by omission: When teens lie by omission, they leave out key pieces of information that they know would be important to their parents. But leaving out unimportant information that parents wouldn’t much care about doesn’t qualify as a lie.

Lying by commission: This is the most basic form of lying: intentionally making statements or telling stories that are not true. Darling says that this type of lying is more rare than the others. However, outright lies have the most negative impact on parent-child relationships.

So why do teenagers lie even though they value honesty?

 Here are some of the reasons:

To get out of trouble

In order to do something, they’re not allowed to or that is dangerous

Because they believe their parents’ rules are unfair

They think what they want to do is harmless

As a way to protect others’ feelings

Maintaining privacy

Most important—to establish their independence and autonomy

Kids don’t see danger  & teens crave the ability to make their own decisions and choices.

But is important to understand not only why do teenagers lie, but also what they lie about, which could include:

The things they spend their money on

Who their friends are

Drinking or substance use

What activities they do

Whether a party is supervised or not

Having romantic relationships

If their homework is done.

Some of these lies may be trivial. But others can endanger a teenager’s health and safety.

Keep ‘Talking & Teaching’ and stay connected – that will build trust between you.

Hope that helps 🙂


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