Read: Helping Parents and Kids Stay Cool and Collected During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Let them know that this too will pass and for now we need to find ways to cope and make the best of it. Be sure to let your child know that you are always ready to listen to them and be there for them when they are feeling lousy or upset.
Help your kids identify areas in which they have at least some control. Ask them for suggestions on ways to make things better. Help your kids by teaching them about problem solving which includes coming up with tons of ideas and then sifting through them to select a couple that might be worth a try.
Problem solving is another important life skill that your children can either learn or improve during this difficult time. Focus on what is going well. Encourage all members of the family to feel proud about how well all of them have helped to make thing go as well as possible.
At Home: Kids Need Structure, Organization & Down Time
Continue to focus on providing a consistent home environment with adequate structure and organization. Take frequent breaks to either relax and chill or actively let off some steam with physical activities.
Continue to have family meals and family fun time. Encourage some alone time to regroup as well. Practice mindfulness technique alone and together. (See our YouTube playlist on Mindfulness for Parents and Kids). Try to spend some one-on-one time with each child as well as with your spouse or partner.
Parents are also worried about lags in learning as a result of this period. It has been difficult for school systems and teachers to readily adapt to the necessary changes. Everything happened very quickly, and the necessary resources were not always readily or fully available. If you do want my take on it, you can read Kids Home From School During Coronavirus Outbreak . There’s helpful info in there, but I don’t believe it’s overwhelming.
Educators are working on preparing for what the new school year will look like. Right now, my suggestion is to leave that up to the educators and not worry about something you are not responsible for fixing. Right now, tend to the emotional needs of your children and work with them to find new things to do with their time that are enjoyable and constructive.
Helpful Resources For Parents: How To Talk To Kids
Finally, I would like to make you aware of some new resources that you may find helpful in the quest to improve the new normal. Change for Kids is a New York based organization that has developed an amazing website, CFK Digital .
This is a free resource that provides a digital library of activities as well as daily live experiences. They provide activities related to music, art, dance, and science. They don’t just watch; they participate along with the teachers and other kids. It is fun, creative, and promotes child development and learning. They also have guest readers who read very cool books.
Speaking of guest readers, Read-Along with PBS KIDS includes Michele Obama reading on Mondays and now President Obama has joined her. Also children (K-6) can in enjoy free eBooks and audio books at the Tumble Book Library provided by the Chicago Public Library.