Parenting through a pandemic might not be easy, but one thing’s for sure: Science is having a field day.
I’ve taken some time to gather the most helpful pandemic parenting studies* to give us all an idea of what to expect as we navigate this unprecedented time.
(*studies in this case is loosely defined by personal experiences, yet to be peer reviewed, except via text threads and late night, mildly intoxicated zoom chats)
Your kids will be louder than ever before.
My working theory is the lack of air pollution is just making everything louder, but I haven’t ruled out they are slowly turning into hyena hybrids, which brings me to my second scientific fact.
Your kids will start communicating in yips, chirps, and snarls.
Sure, they’ll still use words (“snack”, “show” and “no” seem to dominate the word cloud), but you can expect most responses to begin with some sort of loud, agitated animal howl. Expect emphasis on vowels, such as “I don’t waaaaaaant toooooo” and “You can’t maaaaaake meeeeee!”
Related to their transition into hyena-type huminoids, their food consumption will increase by 9000%.
This is science and has lots of data to back it up, namely our grocery bill and my inability to keep food in the house.
Personal space will be a distant memory.
Sure, some “science” people will tell you this sudden uptick in physical contact is because kids are “stressed” and “coping with trauma” but my studies would indicate they have figured out the fastest way to get to you to give in and let them watch a show is to touch you a whole bunch so you wig out and say “oh my god just get away from me and turn on a show”.
Personal care habits will diminish.
For everybody. Perhaps it’s the increased time spent outside, or maybe it’s the sweat worked up while vigorously debating the appropriateness of drawing a dinosaur taco on the wall, but either way, they’re getting sticky, and getting them to bathe isn’t worth the fight.
They will develop blind spots in their vision.
These won’t be identifiable or treatable by an ophthalmic specialist, but the proof is in the “I can’t fiiiiiind it!” pudding. Bike helmets, shoes, water bottles, hell, their own dad – the size doesn’t matter, nor does the proximity to their face. If you don’t find it for them, it’s lost for eternity.
Similarly, their memory is getting a little spotty.
Science has noticed an uptick in the number of reports where parents give a simple directive, just to have it completely ignored by the children, who then vehemently deny ever being given the instruction. Studies are still pending, but the correlation is looking strong, with further reports indicating spouses may also be starting to suffer similar symptoms.
Previously established habits will start to disappear.
Again, the science is unclear if this can be attributed to the lack of air pollution, or the slow transition into a mangy Australian desert dog, but well known behaviors like flushing a toilet and putting on pants appear to be trending downward.
As you can see, science would indicate that parenting through a pandemic is nothing like regular parenting, and we should all probably email our schools about how they plan to handle our hyena children once school starts again in 2025. Sob.