Too easygoing in the pandemic?



If you’re worrying about letting too much slide, you’re not alone

Do not worry too much about letting things slide


During Covid-19, it can be hard to know if you’re doing the right thing for both your child and yourself. Emily Flake, a self-described Gen-X mom, understands, and has some insight.

She writes: “Some rule loosening is an inevitable consequence of constricted mental bandwidth. Many of us just don’t have the energy to insist on the completion of every single online assignment across a multitude of goofily-named platforms, or to shepherd a child into making her bed every day.”

No guidebook or advice column covers pandemic parenting, so best to commiserate and compare notes with others. It soon becomes clear that, with so much of the world turned upside down, all parents have necessarily altered whatever style they’ve chosen, and everyone is wondering which impulses to honor for the good of all.

“Instead of a good and bad angel on my shoulders, I have warring parenting philosophies,” Flake writes. “This was true even before Covid-19, but is particularly exacerbated by the pandemic. On one shoulder sits a mother who says children ought to be treated extra gently now, because the continuing psychic fallout of school closures, truncated social lives and a silent viral menace are huge. The mom on the other shoulder tells me to suck it up and stop letting my kid be such a baby. I think this mom smokes?”

READ MORE: Mindfulness for better parenting

Flake mainly worries she’s letting things slide too much – with both her eight-year-old daughter and herself. And her daughter’s recent reactions to discipline – “an adolescent tang to her back-talk and a toddler-like regression in the way she gets upset” – concern her even more. Her Texan cousin sagely and simply advises: “backsliding is the devil.” Flake tries to keep it to a minimum, accepting that some is OK, as she’s finding what the limits are.

Like a lot of parents I know, Flake can’t really look to her own growing up for cues. (Frankly, because Covid-19 is ours and ours alone, nobody can.) Not only was there obviously no pandemic, but also, her parents’ style was disengaged and inconsistent. And while so much about pandemic parenting is uncertain, she knows those tactics are to be avoided. “Disengaged” is actually not even really possible.

Flake is wise to look to herself: “ …the most important thing to remember here is that whatever leeway I give my daughter is a lesson I need to learn for myself first.

There’s an art to being gentle with yourself and with others in a way that doesn’t cancel out the idea of expectations and responsibilities.”

Like all of us, she hopes to finally strike that balance by the time a vaccine arrives.



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Safety tips to follow when using gas or charcoal grills

    Following safety procedures when grilling can reduce injury and save lives

    Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer for many New Yorkers, and with it, the start of the grilling season. As New Yorkers get ready to fire up their grills this Memorial Day weekend, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) reminds consumers to consider some important safety tips for safe summer barbecues. read more »
  • Tips to help avoid moving scams

    Be aware of deceptive business practices

    For this week’s “Tuesday’s Tips,” the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection provides consumers with important tips to avoid scams when moving. Moving your belongings can be a stressful process, and unfortunately scammers use these situations to defraud consumers out of thousands of dollars by using deceptive business practices. read more »
  • 4 things parents and youth athletes should know about concussions

    Every person and every concussion is different

    Despite the attention drawn to the topic of concussions over the past decade, it can be difficult to find readily available answers about what parents and young athletes should do after sustaining a concussion. read more »
  • How to keep feet and ankles in tip top shape this summer

    Experts offer tips for you and your family

    Summer fun and chores alike come with potential hazards to feet. According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, here’s how to protect feet and ankles from the most common seasonal hazards. read more »
  • Confused by nutrition labels? You’re not alone

    How to read the packaging on your groceries

    Shopping for groceries can be like navigating a maze: so many choices in every aisle, food packages covered in marketing claims, and little direction on what is truly healthy and what isn’t. People want to make healthy choices for themselves and their families, but how can they when the information available to them can be so overwhelming? read more »
  • Thoughtful gift ideas for Mother's Day

    Make your mom smile on her special day

    To show your mom just how much she means to you, choose a Mother’s Day gift that reflects her interests and passions. As you’re looking for the perfect gift, consider these thoughtful ideas that will touch her heart. read more »
  • How high-speed internet can help spark community vitality

    Let's get internet everywhere

    Most Americans consider high-speed internet an essential household service. Yet in rural America, an estimated 25% of the population doesn’t have broadband access, limiting their economic growth and access to career opportunities and resources such as education and health care. read more »
  • Girls on the Run launches new curriculum

    Meeting the needs of today's girls

    Girls on the Run International (GOTRI), a nationally recognized nonprofit that empowers young girls, has launched its new research-based curriculum intentionally designed to meet the needs of today's girls. Entitled Hello, Superstar!, the innovative curriculum helps girls build the confidence to be themselves through meaningful and engaging lessons and activities that keep them moving. read more »
  • From awareness to action: Learning.com's commitment to supporting healthy relationships with technology for kids

    Learning.com shares resources aimed at creating positive digital experiences for children

    As the world observes Mental Health Awareness Month this May, Learning.com, a leading provider of digital literacy solutions, is taking proactive steps to address a pressing issue: the need for young learners to develop healthy relationships with technology. Recognizing that banning technology isn't the solution, Learning.com is engaging educators and parents in the conversation and providing free tools and resources during the month of May aimed at supporting the creation of positive digital experiences for children. Through an informative webinar with experts in the field on May 21, Learning.com will foster discussions that aim to help students build healthy relationships with technology. read more »
  • 4 trends showing mental health is a continued challenge for Americans

    People with outward appearances of success, productivity and happiness often still deal with internal struggles. Mental health challenges continue to affect Americans, with nearly 3 of 4 (73%) U.S. adults reporting struggles with mental health in 2023. read more »