What It’s Like To Be Gen Z Parents Through the Pandemic

For many eager to start a family of their own, the pandemic provided an ideal window to settle down. For those with children, there were pros and cons that came with a changing work-life landscape. Along with the would-be millennial mums and working dads were Gen Zers.

We usually hear about Gen Z in the media as they relate to topics like TikTok, anxiety and climate change. Partly in response to that stereotyping, VICE sent photographer Chris Bethell on a trip around the UK to meet new young parents at their homes to talk about parenting styles and what it means to be a mum or dad during a pandemic.


VICE: Can you talk a bit about your parenting style?
Zoe: I would say it’s relaxed. I know a lot of people believe in really telling your children off and giving them a slight fear

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Building miniature worlds with my daughter through the pandemic

This pandemic Christmas, I gave my 2-year-old daughter a matchbox that slides open to reveal a pair of toy mice. Made by a Danish toy company called Maileg, these matchbox mice had been following me in advertisements around the internet for months. I’d hesitated to buy them because $30 seemed steep for 3-inch mice, but I’m a sucker for Scandinavian aesthetics, and online reviews assured me of their quality craftsmanship. I ordered them from a local toy store, and they turned out to be my daughter’s favorite gift.

The rest of the holiday was challenging. We spent the day in back-to-back family video calls, all sad substitutes for time together in person, and my daughter melted down with screams of “No, no!” every time she saw the Zoom home screen. She spit out the herb-stuffed duck my husband had spent the day roasting. I was six months pregnant, heavy

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The pandemic is exacerbating a shortage of child therapists | Momaha

“The country is traumatized and the ones being hurt most are children, whose neurological development is being affected after 10 months and counting of house arrest, ” said Lise Van Susteren, a Washington, D.C., psychiatrist. “It’s a very grave public health problem.”

The difficulties families face are very much on display in the Fishtown home of the parents of an 11-year-old boy diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

“For him, his problem wasn’t just getting used to going to school at home,” the boy’s father said. “It was putting our house in turmoil.”

It took six weeks to find a suitable psychologist covered by the parents’ insurance, he said.

But, because the pandemic loaded the practitioner with so many patients, she was overwhelmed, the boy’s mother said. After the boy’s initial virtual appointment, the psychologist couldn’t see him again for two months, the boy’s father said: “It was scary,

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Did the pandemic impact child care costs?

Iowa ranked 13th on a state-by-state list of average child care cost increases, comparing pre-pandemic times to during the pandemic.

Child care costs across the nation have increased because of the coronavirus pandemic.

A study by Lending Tree looked at child care costs before the pandemic vs. during the pandemic.  Nationwide, child care centers saw a 41% increase in yearly cost per child. 

On a list of state-by-state cost increases, Iowa ranks 13th, with a 60% jump.  Before the pandemic, child care cost an average of $9,443 per child per year; during the pandemic, that amount rose to $15,090.

Illinois ranks 25th on this list, after child care costs jumped 45% during the pandemic.  Their yearly child care cost rose from $11,498 to $16,687.

Georgia saw a 115% jump, the largest increase of all 50 states. South Dakota saw the smallest jump, 8%, at less than $1,000 extra per child

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