Keep Routines In Place

 

Excerpted from: https://childmind.org/article/supporting-kids-during-the-covid-19-crisis/

  1. Keep routines in place

The experts all agree that setting and sticking to a regular schedule is key, even when you’re all at home all day. 

  1. Be creative about new activities — and exercise

Incorporate new activities into your routine, like doing a puzzle or having family game time in the evening. 

  1. Manage your own anxiety

It’s completely understandable to be anxious right now (how could we not be?) but how we manage that anxiety has a big impact on our kids. Keeping your worries in check will help your whole family navigate this uncertain situation as easily as possible.

  1. Limit consumption of news

Staying informed is important, but it’s a good idea to limit consumption of news and social media that has the potential to feed your anxiety, and that of your kids. 

  1. Stay in touch virtually

Keep your support network strong, even when you’re only able to call or text friends and family. Socializing plays an important role in regulating your mood and helping you stay grounded. And the same is true for your children.

  1. Make plans

In the face of events that are scary and largely out of our control, it’s important to be proactive about what you can control. Making plans helps you visualize the near future.  

  1. Keep it positive

Though adults are feeling apprehensive, to most children the words “School’s closed” are cause for celebration. Let kids know that you’re glad they’re excited, but make sure they understand that though it may feel like vacations they’ve had in the past, things will be different this time. For example, Dr. Busman suggests, “It’s so cool to have everyone home together. We’re going to have good time! Remember, though, we’ll still be doing work and sticking to a regular schedule.”

  1. Keep kids in the loop — but keep it simple

“Talking to children in a clear, reasonable way about what’s going on is the best way to help them understand,” says Dr. Busman. “But remember kids don’t need to know every little thing.” Unless kids ask specifically, there’s no reason to volunteer information that might worry them.

  1. Check in with little kids

Young children may be oblivious to the facts of the situation, but they may still feel unsettled by the changes in routine, or pick up on the fact that people around them are worried and upset. Plan to check in with younger children periodically and give them the chance to process any worries they may be having. 

  1. Sometimes the path of least resistance is the right path

Remember to be reasonable and kind to yourself. We all want to be our best parenting selves as much as we can, but sometimes that best self is the one that says, “Go for it,” when a kid asks for more time on the iPad.  

  1. Accept and ask for help

If you have a partner at home, agree that you’ll trade off when it comes to childcare. Especially if one or both of you are working from home and have younger children. That way everyone gets a break and some breathing room.