My Blog - Children's Medical Center
Posts for: April, 2020
Current events are creating stress for many families. The fear and anxiety of waiting and not knowing how long this may last can be overwhelming and cause many emotions in both adults and children. Here are ten things you can do to support yourself and your family during these crazy times:
- Routine: Create a routine for your family that resembles your old routine as much as possible, but with modifications to embrace the changes that are taking place such as learning at home, working from home, cancelled activities and sports, and limited travel.
- Exercise: Stay active by incorporating physical activity into your schedule for at least 30 minutes every day. It’s important for children to play, get the heart pumping and release energy. For parents, aside from the obvious health benefits, it’s a great way to clear your mind as well.
- Sleep: Not enough sleep has been linked to higher levels of stress, higher blood pressure levels and lower brain function. It’s important for both kids and parents to unwind before getting into bed, which will allow for better rest.
- Take it Slow: If you’re sensing anxiety in your children or yourself, stop and take a few deep breaths. It can even be a fun game to play with the kids a few times a day. Stop, everyone take 3 deep breaths (in and out), reach to the sky then stretch to the ground and repeat 3 times.
- Healthy Eating: This is not the time to binge on snacks, sweets and processed foods. Now more than ever, eating from each of the 5 food groups and getting the proper balance of nutrients is important to keeping the body healthy and the immune system strong.
- Stay Connected: Social distancing doesn’t mean complete isolation. We live in a world where technology allows us to stay connected at all times. Make sure you schedule times for your children to digitally connect with friends, whether phone calls, texting, facetime or group video chats. And the same goes to parents — reach out to friends and family and connect with others at least once a day.
- Play: Have fun and be creative as a family. A few ideas that everyone can participate in are arts and craft projects, puppet shows or dress up, play a board game, do a puzzle, or simply listen to music and dance.
- Read: This is a great time to read a book. The news can be daunting at times like these and turning it off completely to read a book is a great way to reduce stress. Schedule a few times a week or even daily where the whole family reads and escape from the digital world.
- Schedule Yourself: Parents need to be sure they are taking care of themselves during these unprecedented times. Don’t feel guilty by scheduling some alone time to focus on yourself whether it’s going for a walk or run, taking a long bath, meditating, doing yoga, working out or simply asking for a little quite time.
- Talk: Take time to talk with your child about COVID-19 in a way they understand. Most likely they are hearing the news or seeing posts on social and they probably have questions. Reassure your family that the steps your taking are to keep them safe.
At Children’s Medical Center, we understand this may be a stressful time and it’s important to monitor you and your child’s physical and mental health. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to call us. We are open and we are here to help you through this confusing time.
As schools across the nation close their doors to protect our children, teachers, faculty and families from the spread of COVID-19, parents are feeling the ripple effect to transition their children into a new stay-at-home and learn-from-home way of life. Here are a few things that can help your children learn from home.
Schools follow a schedule and your new way of life (however long that may be) should follow suit. By mapping out your day, you not only create a routine for your child, but also build in time to get your work done. Build a framework around what your child was doing at school, for example:
- When would they usually eat breakfast, snack and lunch?
- When are they used to taking breaks, going outside or having recess?
- When do they focus best, morning or afternoon?
- Break the day into small chunks, how many subjects or areas are you covering?
Once you know what has to be covered and you’ve created your framework, add in some time to imagine, create and build. These can be 15- to 30-minute blocks depending on your child’s age and attention span. Don’t feel like you have to play with them the entire time — let them play independently and use their imagination as well. The more they play the more they learn to play. For older children include screen time, facetime or texting with friends— we may be distancing ourselves physically, but they still need social interaction with their classmates, and we live in a digital world where that is at our fingertips.
Make it Fun
During times of crisis, children feel the effects of major changes taking place. One way to help ease the tension is by keeping learning fun. A few ideas you can try are:
- Set a timer for each section of learning
- Take music and dance breaks
- Have 'Simon Says’ stretch breaks
- Enjoy recreational reading time
- Go outside and get some fresh air
- Location change; try doing some lessons at the kitchen table, others on the couch or even outside if it’s a pretty day
When creating the schedule, include your child in the process. If they play a part in the schedule-making process they’re more likely to follow it themselves. Let them write it out, use colors, markers, paint, paper and stickers to break up the day and make it their own.
As always, if you have any questions Children’s Medical Center is here to help in any way we can. We are open and here to assist you during these unprecedented times. Call us and schedule an appointment to discuss any issues your child may be having as they adjust to this new way of home learning.