Coping in the 3rd wave: 6 tips for parents

By Jane Kristoffy: BA., BEd., MEd., OCT.

Jane is an educational strategist, author and speaker who helps students find their academic direction. Find out more about Jane's services at

For many of us, it’s been a tough couple of weeks. We’ve got new lockdown restrictions, a return to remote learning, and skyrocketing COVID cases. Families across the country and globe face similar realities as we wade through the third wave. It’s difficult to be positive and see light at the end of the tunnel. Many parents wonder how to cope through this seemingly never-ending pandemic.

As tough as things are, as parents let’s continue to model coping skills to our kids. They watch our every move! 

Here are a couple of tips and some words of encouragement as we try to get ourselves and our families through the third wave.

1) Routines routines routines: Stick to your routines. I’m a broken record repeating this point over the past year. Maintaining routines helps the household run smoothly and calmly. Bed time, bath time, meal times, school hours, and outdoor play: keep to your schedule. We all (young and old!) love the calm, security, and predictability that results from it - especially during times of uncertainty, and utter pandemic fatigue.

2)  Keep going: We’re in the school year’s final stretch (and hopefully the pandemic’s final stretch too!). In a non-pandemic year I would encourage my students to “give their all” at this point, just like in the final metres of a long race. But not this year. Instead, I nudge my students to simply “show up.”

3) Show up and see what happens! Many kids will rise to the occasion of the school day, and others may just “put in the time.” But - just being part of class and its activities is a feat. Anything’s possible when you show up. One teacher colleague of mine said, “no matter how long this goes on, I have faith in my students and I’ll continue to push them to do their best and fill their potential.” 

4) Use your village! (online, that is.) Dial in to communities such as Backyard Camp. Reach out to your friends and relatives for support of any kind. It takes a village to raise our families, now more than ever. Connect virtually with extended family, friends, and other supports such as tutors, counsellors, therapists, and health providers. Don’t do it alone.

5) Watch for signs of stress in your kids. Some kids have become more resilient and adaptable during the pandemic, but other kids need more support. Ask yourself: are their moods and behaviours changing? Are the kids causing problems at home, or are any of their behaviours becoming extreme? Watch for signs and reach out to a mental health specialist or health care provider for support if needed.

6)  Find some time for yourself every day, alone. A dog walk, a shower or bath, a workout, a podcast, a nap, a hour with a book, or a phone call with a friend. Escape the realities of family life and responsibilities for a moment and focus on yourself. 

Folks, we’ve made it this far and we’re still kicking. Let’s take each day at a time, stay connected and healthy, and try to acknowledge our small wins as we paddle through the third wave. 

Stay healthy, and stay sane. We’ve got this!

My tips blend well with many suggestions I share in my book, Launch Your Kid: How to Promote Your Child's Academic & Personal Success (without being a helicopter parent), which launched in January 2021.

-buy it today at and use BACKYARDCAMP20 to get 20% off!

(available globally where books are sold)