Parenting in the current COVID-19 reality – understanding and addressing parental concerns using a qualitative methodology
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought in significant changes in the lifestyles of families across the world. This study is aimed to look at the parental perspectives and concerns related to challenges in parenting in the current COVID-19 pandemic situation through qualitative methodology.
Method: The dataset for the study was the queries raised by parents who participated in a parent training program that addressed concerns related to parenting in the pandemic situation. Two training sessions were conducted by one of the authors, as part of community outreach activities in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at a tertiary care academic institute of national importance. Thematic deductive approach was used to analyse the dataset manually.
Results: The major themes that emerged were concerns related to handling children in home-bound situation, handing siblings of different age groups, caring for children with developmental disorders, managing work-life balance, concerns related to screen time in children, general parenting related queries for young children and adolescents. Based on the themes emerged, information pamphlets addressing these specific concerns were prepared for wide dissemination among parents.
Conclusion: This study attempted to understand the parental perspectives and experiences related to parenting challenges in the current pandemic situation. Parental narratives highlighted some of the unique challenges pertaining to the ‘new normal’. Disseminating educational and informational resources during the pandemic is an essential systemic response that will benefit the community in resource-limited settings.