Parents certainly aren’t having the easiest time right now with their kids home due to the coronavirus. But there are some things they can do to help them get through this trying time.
Here are some fundamental guidelines to support you as parents:
- Center yourself on those thingsyou can control(turning off the news, your social distancing, how you follow CDC recommendations, how you schedule your time, where you put your thoughts and attention), andlet go of those things you are unable to control(how long this will last, how others react, predicting what will happen, the actions of others, the amount of toilet paper at the store).
- A constant stream of news can cause anyone to feel anxious.Seek information from reliable sources and updates.Try to stick to a schedule of reading during specific times during the day, then unplug and shut it down!
- Maintain familiar routines as much as possible and create new habits.Try to be consistent with your daywhile maintaining a healthy lifestyle at home--including a proper diet, sleep, and exercise. Carve out space and time for your child to connect with their peers and to connect as a family within the daily routine. Consider these daily check-in questions:
- What am I grateful for today?
- Who am I checking in on, or connecting with today?
- What expectations of "normal" am I letting go of today?
- How am I getting outside today?
- How am I moving my body today?
- What good am I either creating, cultivating, or inviting in today?
- Note that during times of increased stress, it is common for kids to be more demanding on their parents. Please help your child find positive ways to express and reframe their emotions. As a reminder, right now, in your child's brain development, there is a wide gap between the heightened development of their emotional brain and the prefrontal cortex (inhibition, planning, reflecting, etc.), which hopefully explains any erratic mood swings! Young people feel relieved when they can express their feelings in a safe and supportive environment, and sometimes that environment does not involve talking face-to-face. Try connecting while doing a puzzle, going for a walk, cooking together, etc. Your only role is to validate and listen, do not put pressure on yourself to fix this for your children.
- Please remember kids will observe adults’ behaviors and emotions for cues on how to manage their own during difficult times.How to Avoid Passing Anxiety onto Your Kid
- Remember that some days you and your children will be super productive and optimistic, and some days will feel more difficult. If you can, trust in the impermanence of it all,your difficult days will not last forever, it is only a wave of emotions, and it will shift again.
- Draw on skills you may have used in the past that have helped you previously manage life's adversities and use those skills to help you manage your emotions during this time.
Here are some expert suggestions that may help relieve some anxiety:
- Nothing is more repairing than the power of laughter! Most late-night show hosts are broadcasting from their own homes, such asJimmy Fallon&Jimmy Kimmel!
- Spring is here! Get outside, get outside, get out, even if just for a 30-minute walk.
- Have some extra time, and want to learn something new?! Check outCoursera--a free online learning platform developed by Stanford professors.
- Try a new fitness class; you do not need a bike to joinPeloton'sstreaming classes, and aGloYogamembership will give you access to some of the best yoga and meditation teachers worldwide. So many gyms and instructors are providing live classes, and now you get to work out in the comfort of your own home--do it as a family!
- Cook with your kids! Assign one part of the meal to each member of the family (app, main dish, side dish, dessert).
- Consider starting a practice in mindfulness and meditation.Researchsupports the value of these practices during times of stress.
- Start a family gratitude practice. Make it a part of your daily routine to name 1-3 things every morning or evening.
- Consider a daily morning quote, meme, or poem to start the day.
Source:Dr. Dave’s Ultimate Prep