Dr. Erin Hunter, UCCF

Expert Advice: On How to Parent in a Pandemic and Being a Good Example

General, News, Parenting, UCCF

Parenting is not easy business.

Erin Hunter, Ph.D., interim director of the University Center for the Child and Family (UCCF) at MARI, recently provided actionable advice for parents, particularly those who may be feeling frayed around the edges or burnt out while parenting during the pandemic.

Parenting Survival

Dr. Hunter spoke with Michigan Radio’s Stateside answering the question: How do you survive parenting in a pandemic? Like many things, the answer is simple in concept, but more complicated in practice. Dr. Hunter noted that lowering your expectations and focusing on one or two priorities is key — and so is cutting yourself some slack.

“We are in kind of uncharted territory. And that is stressful and hard. So give yourself props for doing the best that you can in this crazy-making situation,” Dr. Hunter said.

To read or listen to the NPR interview, see: How do You Survive Pandemic Parenting? Lowered Expectations and Self-compassion from Stateside on Michigan Radio.

Your Attitude and Your Kids

In a different interview for an article in the print and digital magazine, Metro Parent, Dr. Hunter was asked about how parents’ attitudes can affect their children’s attitudes and how to adjust to help everyone cope and get along better. Her suggestions included embracing self compassion, mindfulness, socializing and prioritizing yourself for a little while each day.

“Do something for yourself every day, even if it’s only for five minutes. Parents set the ceiling for what their kids can do, so participating in your own interests and hobbies, or even just taking the time to read a book, take a walk, do a craft, or take a bath can be beneficial for you and will mirror positive habits for your kids to follow.”

To read the full story, see: How a Parent’s Daily Attitude Affects Kids in Metro Parent.


Additional Resources for Dealing with Uncertainty, Parenting, etc.

10 Tips for managing anxiety preview


10 Tips for Managing Anxiety in Uncertain Times: An Infographic (PDF)


3 Ways to Survive as a Pandemic Parent Preview


How to Survive a Difficult Day as a Pandemic Parent: 3 Tips to Make it Through (PDF)


Kids, Parents and Coronavirus: A Tip Sheet on Common Anxieties, How to Recognize Them, and How to Address Them


About the Center for the Child and Family

The University Center for the Child and Family (UCCF) is part of the Mary A. Rackham Institute at the University of Michigan. UCCF offers clinical services to children and families, including individual, family and group therapy; assessments and testing for common neurological diagnoses; testing and therapy for children with autism; and free or low-cost community workshops. For more information, see: mari.umich.edu/uccf or contact us at (734) 615-7853.

MARI is also home to the University Psychological Clinic, which provides mental health care and testing for those 18-years and older, and the University Center for Language and Literacy (UCLL), which provides speech and language therapy and reading interventions for children and adults.

Media Requests

Looking for an expert on children’s or adult’s mental health or language and literacy-related content? Contact Stephanie at stephaa@umich.edu to connect with an expert for a media appearance or commentary.