This qualitative study used reflexive thematic analysis to explore parents’ experiences of supporting their children throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. A diverse range of parents and professionals were interviewed between December 2020 and March 2021 about their experiences during the pandemic, including parenting through two national lockdowns.
- Four themes were developed: (a) worries and uncertainties; (b) mental exhaustion; (c) resources available to cope with the challenges; and (d) finding the positives.
- Parents faced worries and uncertainties regarding how best to support their child and the long-term consequences of the pandemic, as well as feelings of mental exhaustion from juggling multiple responsibilities
- Positive experiences included strengthened family bonds during the pandemic.
- Certain factors such as space in the home environment, support networks and parents’ own personal mental health determined parents’ ability to support their children.
- Flexible work arrangements, family-friendly employment policies, as well as support for parents are important to enable parents to support their children and look after their own wellbeing.