We are living in extraordinary times. As we are entering into a prolonged period of increased stress and family isolation, here are my top ten tips for parents as we begin living with Covid. There are many unknowns and kids will need a lot of support and reassurance. These ideas are meant to be very flexible. Some days you will do a few, some you will ditch them all. Children are highly resilient and they will have many stories to share with their grandchildren. But for now, as reality sets in that we are in this for the long haul, some of these tips might help.

 

  1. Kids pick up on our emotions and we are all living with a new kind of stress. But, we are adaptable and within the first week, we will all adjust to a new normal.

  2. It will be very helpful if you make a schedule for your kids. You can help them to understand that this is not like a bunch of snow days. It is more like homeschooling. Post the schedule on a wall and include all your daily activities including educational time (reading, workbooks, online education), recess, lunch, art, music etc.

  3. As part of the schedule, establish a start and end time of the day with “afterschool” activities and weekend activities.

  4. Plan to continue with the same structure you have for screen time that would otherwise be true if your children were attending school.

  5. Have your kids help create the schedule and routine. This should include times to get up in the morning and established bedtimes.

  6. Set up a daily “chore board” since you will all be pitching in to take care of your home. Kids can help straighten their rooms and living spaces, cook food with you or prepare lunches.

  7. You can build in time for daily family walks or yoga activities and call these things “PE”.

  8. Look for “silver linings”. Every crisis also has opportunities, it’s just that sometimes they can be hard to see. One benefit is that we are all going to move at a slower pace and have more time to connect (virtually) with loved ones. Eventually, life will get hectic and fast paced again, but for now, we can take advantage of building connections and slowing down.

  9. An important consideration for kids is that familiarity and routine will decrease anxiety and stress. The sooner you begin this process, the faster your family will adapt to a new normal.

  10. Reach out to others (virtually) and set up FaceTime or other video playdates. Kids are resourceful and will figure out how to use their imaginations to “play” with other kids.

 

As always, I am available for consultation either by phone or through Zoom video conferencing to talk about specific issues for your family. If it would be helpful to talk, please let me know and we can arrange a time.

 

Take care and stay healthy,

Melinda