Your child’s world has dramatically changed over the course of just a few months. They are now at home without interactions from friends, teachers and extended family. They’re worried about what they are hearing on TV and unsure when life will return to “normal.” Parenting during this crisis is not easy and can be overwhelming. The tips below may help support you and your children during this difficult time.
Your children are likely experiencing conflicting emotions. One minute they may be happy to be home with you and sad the next because they can’t go anywhere or have anyone over. Keeping life as close to normal as possible will help your child’s emotional well-being.
Find the Positives
Look for bright moments each day. You might have extra time now that you are working from home to snuggle up and read with your child. Allow your children time to video chat with family members and friends they can’t see in person.
Stay Physically Active
Go for runs or bike rides and play backyard games. Have everyone put on comfortable clothes and gather in front of the tv or computer for a free fitness class. Try a site like https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga, https://www.gonoodle.com/ or lesmills.com/us/workouts/youth-training/.
Children need plenty of time to play especially in difficult and stressful times. Pull out old toys that your kids might not have played with for a while. Have them turn household items into toys. Encourage them to be creative and think outside the box. A cardboard box could be a bear cave, a school bus or an art studio. Have them color the inside with crayons or markers. They can use a blanket as a tent, a cape or an island. Don’t touch the lava!
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Spending time in nature is proven to relieve stress. Have your kids take pictures or draw the beauty they see in nature. Take family walks and look for animals, plants and flowers along the way. Plant a small garden that they can take care of daily. Lay outside at night and star gaze. Have kids look for birds and draw pictures of the ones they see.
Do Things for Others
Thinking of others gets your children thinking about something else then the situation they are in. Have them make cards for people who are working to help us all during this time like nurses, doctors, and first responders. Have them use sidewalk chalk to draw pictures and leave uplifting messages for delivery truck drivers and mail carriers.
Manage Family Time
Being together 24/7 and unable to leave your home can cause tension among family members. Encourage siblings to play separately when they they’ve had enough of each other’s company. It is also healthy for parents to have alone time so plan time to take care of yourself.