Emma and DJ are very in tune with emotions! They can pick up on someone’s emotions, no matter if they’re happy, sad, or indifferent they will pick up on it. The COVID-19 Pandemic has been no different. DJ first started learning about it from watching the news with his grandparents (DJ only goes to school for a 1/2 day and the rest of the day he spends with his grandparents). Emma and I sat down together and discussed COVID-19 and how it affects our family once school was out.
Emma and DJ have been out of school since March 12, 2020! Yes, that’s two weeks! DJ is in preschool and in Ohio, preschool is not mandatory. He goes Monday-Thursday, and once we figured out Emma was no longer attending school, we pulled him as well. Actually, his school was one of the ones that shut things down immediately, so actually, I think DJ was out of school before Emma.
Working at a K-12 School has been very different from what I am used to because I’ve worked in Higher Education for 13 years. There were lots of conversations regarding the children, the school transitioning to Distance Learning, working remotely. Emma’s Spring Break technically would’ve started March 20, but the school put them on Spring Break immediately. Some of the older classes met with their teacher last week, but since Emma’s class is younger we did phone conferences with the teacher last week and discussed how the next few weeks will work.
Navigating Daily Life During the COVID-19 Pandemic…
We haven’t started Distance Learning because of Spring Break! We have added a few games that require reading and number practice to keep the kids learning without “officially being homeschooled.” What I have noticed is every day, Emma asks about school the next day! Emma is my child that needs answers, thrives on a routine, and LOVES school! DJ loves being at home with Mommy and Daddy, he likes school but hasn’t expressed missing it yet.
My Tips for Easing Your Child’s Mind during the COVID-19 Pandemic…
Sit Down and Talk with Your Child…BE HONEST! We often do Family Meetings during dinnertime! A couple of weeks ago during dinner time we stressed the importance of washing your hands for 20 seconds, and not having your hands in your mouth or face. For Emma (8) and DJ (5), we kept it pretty simple, and I even found a poster from Lakeshore Learning to remind them of the steps of washing their hands properly!
Have a Q & A Session About COVID-19…No one really wants to talk about it, but it’s here and our children have questions. To the best of your ability, answer their questions to ease their uncertainty! We recently went to pick up packages and check on my parents and the kids were able to see them from a distance. DJ told his Grandparents he was worried about them since he hadn’t seen them in a couple of days. Even if your kids can’t tell time, they know when their schedules and routines are changed or different. Ask them how they feel and if they have any questions, the last thing you want is for them to harbor internal worries! In their eyes, not seeing their grandparents (almost daily), is a BIG deal so ease their minds!
Do Activities to Keep Your Mind Off ALL Things COVID-19 Related…so far we have planned our trip to LEGOLAND California through a virtual tour we watched. Game nights have become a regular activity in our house! Switch up ways you play so it doesn’t get old. And play with your kids’ regular toys with them.
Limit your access and theirs to News and Media…In the beginning, I was either on my phone reading or watching the news. I noticed after watching the news or reading something and discussing it with Darrick that my kids had questions. Kids pick up on your emotions, so limit your adult conversations around them, and also the news playing in the background! Turn the TV off and listen to music is always an option. When we have a game night we turn the TV off and turn on some fun music.
Online Dance Parties…Many celebrities DJ’s are having dance parties. Just this weekend, DJ D-Nice had the largest virtual “Quarantine Club” on Instagram. For a while, I turned the TV off and let the music play just to turn off the TV for a while for all of us! We needed it, and we needed to get up and move, laugh and have fun!
The best piece of advice I can share is to try to have fun at home! If your kids see you stressed, they will become stressed. I totally understand how hard it is mask your concern, stress, and uncertainty but we have to remember we have little ones looking to us for peace, and to be that place of safety!
Our state is going into the “shutdown” mode at the end of the day today. I am very uneasy about this but I know it’s mandatory for the curve to flatten out. From what I understand you can still get your basic necessities, however, I pray that this flattens the curve of the growth of the virus.
What tips do you have for Easing Your Children’s Minds During the COVID-19 Pandemic?