Moms and Dads Answer: What’s the Best Parenting Hack You’ve Learned in Quarantine?

Real talk from real parents.

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Tried and True Tips

Though some states have started to reopen, many remain under social distancing guidelines. With (virtual) school winding down for the year, kids and parents are seeking new routines more than ever. Through trial and error, parents have had to learn new tricks to help get their families through this unprecedented time. Here's a parent-to-parent guide for those who need a little help.

“Wake up before your kids. I wake up every morning before them to drink hot coffee on my porch while listening to my audiobook. This sets the mood for the day and brings me peace before the chaos.”

– Sarah, NY

“I’ve seen a lot of moms killing the workout game during quarantine, but for me, it’s not been realistic. With a husband who works long hours as a resident at the hospital here, and a 7-month-old on nap strike, dedicated fitness time is a luxury. I’ve started walking with the stroller daily, which Mason loves, but I also make a point to hold him while doing little chores. Squatting with a baby to load the dishwasher and holding him as I fold laundry is certainly a workout in itself!”

– Georgia, SC

“Find a hobby or skill that you and your child can learn together! Something that interests both parent and child that can be a daily and fun activity. It can be cooking, arts and crafts, any form of exercise, reading, planting a garden, the possibilities are endless. These are the days to cherish and appreciate our time at home together, so let’s make it memorable and fun!”

– Jen, HI

“Tag team! Carve out an hour each day for mom and dad to have for themselves. Whether that looks like sleeping or playing a video game, it doesn’t matter. It’s time for you to recharge without having to be a mom or dad, or a husband or wife, or an employee.”

– Brianna, NJ

“It’s always great to add a little fun! We created a ‘Good Choices’ scavenger hunt. During the day, the girls can earn clues by moving up on our “Good Choices’ chart. The chart ranges from ‘Think About It,’ to ‘Ready to Learn,’ ‘Good Day,’ ‘Great Job’ and ‘Outstanding.’ If they move all the way up, they earn their clue of the day, which goes toward learning the theme of our family movie night. Even if they move down in the chart, we encourage them to turn things around and move back up. Earning clues makes it fun and helps with behavior.”

– Amanda, CA

“For my kids not to be bored during this quarantine time, I let them do chores. At their age now, they still think it’s fun! I let them put the laundry in the washer, let them wash dishes, vacuum the floor and mop. I also introduced them to baking and enrolled them in online voice lessons. Something new for them!”

– Rejah, Singapore

"I create clean up competitions! The winner gets to pick the songs for a dance party. They’re so pumped to be the DJ that they forget they’re actually doing chores and getting exercise."

– Lindsey, WY

“Choose fun! Get creative and do things that work for you and your family. Some things can include movie nights, walks in the park, backyard obstacle courses and more. Also, don’t forget to take time for yourself!”

– Akilah, PA

“If your child is bored or upset, either give them water or fresh air. Savannah absolutely loves playing outside when the weather is nice or playing with toys in her tub. She’s always happy when we’re done. Good luck, mommas!”

– Shelby, OH

“Buy a vacuum. Use it for everything. Sweeping, picking up baby food from the floor or highchair, and baby entertainment.”

– Steffany, LA

“I let my kids know I’m interested in them by giving each of them their own interview with a couple of questions [including]: If you found a genie in a bottle, what would your three wishes be? If you could change your name, what would you change it to? If you could make everyone on the planet smile, how would you do it?

– Mell, SC

“Create a meal plan for the week and meal prep as much as you can over the weekend. It’ll free you up to work on other things during the week, or just relax!”

– Tosin, NJ

“Here are three parenting hacks you can implement at home to help you get through being a super parent while juggling work and family life. One, gummy vitamins for kids to start the day. There is no child that says no to this, it’s super important to build a predictable routine for your child, so you can set some expectations for the day. Two, outdoor activities. I like to burn my daughter’s energy in the morning by having her ride the scooter in the backyard. If this doesn’t happen, she’ll be climbing all over my ‘work from home’ desk and no one wants that. Three, milk and Disney+ works wonders. A good breakfast, outdoor activities and milk–you just bought yourself three hours during naptime.”

– Charles, WA

“I can’t even begin to count how many meals I’ve cooked during quarantine time, not to mention the number of dishes that have needed washing. One pot meals have been my go-to for quick, easy and inexpensive meals that even my little one will eat. There are so many delicious recipes online and many can be made with pantry items that you already have on hand! Easy cleanup, less dirty dishes and, if you make sure to make enough for leftovers, that’s a whole other day of no cooking. Definitely a MOM WIN!”

– Yeskel, FL

“During this time together, we have learned how important family is. With all of us at home all day, we created a daily schedule for how we should spend our time every day. We have time all together, time divided and time alone. It has been so helpful for us to keep our relationships with each other, as well as our sanity.”

– Celeste, CA

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