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How parents can prevent cracking under coronavirus pressure

Psychologist offers advice for our "new normal"
A picture of a door.
Posted at 6:43 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 21:41:13-04

BEREA, Ohio — Some parents are starting to feel the pressure of their new daily routine.

While the demands of working remotely, maintaining a home and making sure their child does school work are important, one psychologist told News 5 that safety needs to be priority number one moving forward.

“It's been challenging for sure," said Jessica Shattuck.

The Berea family, like so many others, is struggling with keeping school work on track while stuck at home.

"It's still been a process to figure out exactly what she has to do, what needs to be done for the day. We were at the max Wednesday with what we could handle," said Shattuck.

With just a handful of days under their belts, Jane Timmons-Mitchell, a psychologist at Case Western Reserve University, said parents may find themselves cracking under the pressure.

"It can make people nuts. Safety is everyone's top priority," said Timmons-Mitchell.

Timmons-Mitchell said moms and dads need to keep that in mind and step away when they can.

"Parents can take a time out too,” she said.

While the world has taken a very serious tone, Timmons-Mitchell suggests parents step back.

"In order to keep this going is to be a little light-hearted about it, to look for the humor and look for the joy," said Timmons-Mitchell.

Forget about taking it one day at a time — the advice from experts is to break it down hour-by-hour or even by the minute.

"I know that sounds ridiculous, but that really is the coping we are going to have to be using for a while and it's okay," said Timmons-Mitchell.

For now, technology is helping keep the Shattucks' stress levels in check.

"The access to different resources has aided us in being able to keep things interesting and them to realize it is not just a normal day at home," said Tauren Shattuck.

However, with no idea when "normal" returns, this family is prepared for what they expect will be a bumpy ride.

"There's going to be a lot of ‘I'm sorrys’ and let's get past this point," said Jessica Shattuck.