Since the pandemic started, we parents have been reminded *every single day* that it’s our job to keep our kids safe. While we were aware of this responsibility before COVID-19, it seems like our experiences with COVID have amplified that feeling of responsibility, to the point where we’re becoming anxious about formerly inconsequential day-to-day childcare matters. I’ve been witnessing this phenomenon among my patients. Many decisions that once would not have merited a second thought, like what to feed their kids or whether to go on the tall slide at the park, now feel fraught with meaning and importance for them. As a result, many of them are experiencing increases in anxiety, guilt, and decision fatigue (on top of the COVID-related anxiety, guilt, and decision fatigue they already feel!).
I wrote a piece for The Washington Post On Parenting about how to use tools from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to help de-catastrophize minor parenting decisions and reduce parental anxiety. I was excited to feature expert advice from a number of my friends and colleagues–Terri Bacow, Rebecca Schrag Hershberg, Shonda Moralis, and Yael Schonbrun. If you’re sweating the small stuff, and the big stuff, and everything in between, I hope you’ll find this helpful!