Being a Role Model Parent During the Pandemic

By Julie Andress
KeyBanc Capital Markets, STA WIF Co-Chair

Earlier this month we celebrated Mother’s Day, thanking moms for being exceptional role models to their children. Today parents are having to take on more roles than ever — teacher, playmate, dance coach, just to name a few. If you’re a parent working in the financial services industry, it’s likely you’re trying to manage a career, a staff, a trading desk, all remotely while homeschooling your children these last few weeks before summer break.

Many of us are lucky to have a partner to help maneuver through this strange maze of life right now. Someone to help bear the burden, share responsibilities, lighten the load, even if that load is just a load of laundry.

If you Google ‘parents as role models,’ it’s not surprising that the search results will produce a long list of recommendations and suggestions. What is surprising, though, is the number of articles, webinars and research that specifically focus on how parents can be good role models to their children during a global pandemic. Even though we are only a few months into our current situation, a lot of thought has been put into this topic. Sifting through the advice, there is one common thread: communication. Depending on the ages of your children, the conversations you have with them will be very different. Teaching toddlers how to wash their hands properly. Explaining to grade schoolers why they can’t play with their friends. Empathizing with your high school senior who won’t experience prom. Guiding your college graduate through a bleak job market. Be a good role model by communicating with your children right now. And not only one-way communication. It’s just as important to listen.

If you’re a parent working in the financial services industry, it’s likely you’re trying to manage a career, a staff, a trading desk, all remotely while homeschooling your children these last few weeks before summer break.

Besides communicating, have a positive outlook. Reflect on how this time together has brought you closer as a family. Highlight to your children those family members, friends and neighbors who are on the front lines helping others. Then encourage them to think of ways they can help those in need.

Without a doubt, this is a challenging time for parents who are managing working from home, being full-time teachers, full-time caregivers and so much more. Think about how you’ve created an opportunity for our children to see us even more as role models, and help them gain an understanding of how much we truly take on day to day. If we can communicate effectively and maintain a positive attitude, we will realize the long-term impact it has on the relationship with our families.