The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing restrictions it brings to daily life can be a lot to handle, especially for children. They might have a harder time understanding why they cannot go out and play with their friends, as well as do other activities they are accustomed to. As a parent, you will have to modify your parenting style to suit the current circumstances.
Here are several things you can do to help your children cope and live their lives as normally as possible during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Answer their questions
If your children have any questions about the COVID-19 pandemic, answer them. This helps curb misinformation, especially since they can get news from other sources.
Do not be afraid to say that people are getting sick as this is not an entirely new concept to them. Explain things as honestly as possible, and follow it up with ways on how to keep the entire family healthy, such as staying home and exercising good hygiene.
If they voice out any concerns, dispel them calmly. And instead of minimizing your children’s feelings about the current events, recognize them and help them find solutions.
- Set up a routine
Sheltering at home can be difficult for children. They can get easily bored and stir crazy. As such, it is important to create some structure for them. You can do this by setting up a daily routine. In addition to chores, set aside time for family bonding, school work, social or creative activities, as well as “alone time.”
That said, doing the same things over and over again can take its toll on children. Once in a while, inject some spontaneity and deviate from the day’s list of things to do. If things are relatively safe, you can take the kids out on a day trip to a park or camping in Fidalgo Island. Some forms of outdoor recreation are allowed, provided that social distancing is observed.
You do not need to go out to enjoy spontaneous activities with your children. If your property has a spacious yard, you can recreate the magic of the great outdoors at home. Build a campfire, tell stories, roast s’mores, and watch the stars.
- Spend time with each child
It is important to make each of your children feel that they have your undivided attention. Carve out at least 10 to 20 minutes for each child, and let them choose what they want to do. Keep your phone or other gadgets away. It can be as simple as reading a short book, or letting one of your children help you with bathing the family pet.
Invite your partner, if you have one, to do this as well. All of the kids, whether young or old, will appreciate this in the long run. It will also help you get attuned to their feelings and help them process what is currently going on.
- Talk about how you are managing during the pandemic
If you are comfortable, you can share your feelings as well as how you are coping to your children. This way, they will know that it is natural to feel sad or upset, and then see that it is possible to manage these feelings and still enjoy the little things. Through this, you are setting a positive example that should be emulated.
That said, do not force yourself to be the “positive” model authority all the time. Should you feel the need to set aside time for yourself to decompress, communicate this clearly to your children. You are still setting a positive example while taking care of yourself.
- Find virtual activities they can enjoy with friends
Since play dates are still highly encouraged, the next best thing that will allow your children to socialize with their friends is through video conferencing tools.
There are plenty of workshops and creative learning activities online that you and other parents can download. Then, set up a virtual meeting among the children so they can do the activity together. Parents can supervise from afar to assist their kids and make sure everything is in working order.
Now is the best time to strengthen your family’s bond
Hopefully, the tips mentioned above can help you improve your children’s daily life in the time of COVID-19. Browse The Groesbeck Group’s blog for more tips and activities in Pacific Northwest communities like La Conner, WA while living in the time of the pandemic. You can also contact the team at 360.941.3734 or Info(at)JeanGroesbeck(dotted)com.