Having a “Stay at home Order” in almost every state, where we are not able to go to work and school, it is completely normal to feel stressed and a bit overwhelmed. During this difficult time, we cannot oversee our children’s feelings. If we, as adults, are struggling to adapt to our new normal, our children may be having a difficult time as well.

COVID-19 is a current event no one saw coming. With COVID-19, came a few changes many were not prepared for; however, we are here to offer up some tips on ways to strengthen the relationship and bond with your children while they are at home. These tips will vary between the different age groups, but some can be applied to kids of all ages. The first tip is to set aside time for each child. This could be for 20 minutes or at the same time every day allowing for your children to look forward to this moment each day. Asking your child what they like to do can help you create activities for this time set apart with your children. Some activities could be reading a book together, draw pictures with crayons and colored pencils, dance, help them with schoolwork if needed, make music using pots and pans, create a habit of going to bed at a regular time, and/or stack cups and blocks together. Maintaining a positive atmosphere at home with your children will help during this situation and allow for positive behavior. In the midst of COVID-19, create a structure at home about safety measures and social distancing. Talk about the importance of handwashing and hygiene, keeping a safe distance from others when schools open up again, and setup a time for your children to get to play outside and get to release some energy.

My First Academy has put together a “Virtual Learning Classroom” to help out during this quarantine time for those families that are staying home with young children. In our virtual classroom you can find a daily routine to follow while at home. We have also incorporated art and science projects, phonics lessons, math lessons, story time and more for your children.

Through all of this, it is normal for your child to experience bad behavior. When bad behavior starts to happen, take some time to take deep breaths before addressing the problem. Talk with your child about consequences and teach about how some actions may have consequences. By doing so, your child will learn about responsibility in a positive environment.

While creating time to spend with your children, it is good to also create sometime for yourself in order to be there for your children during all of this. Talk with your children about how they are feeling with the current situation and together create fun solutions for them to see the positive in all of this. We are all living an experience that is new and different for all but keeping a positive and relaxed outlook can help make these times more bearable. Please remember that your child does not understand what is happening in the world. Keep in mind that your child may not adjust to “homeschooling” as easy as we think. Most children act differently when they are in different settings. Right now, “HOME” is their happy, fun, and play space. Where “SCHOOL” is their routine, follow the rules, and play with my friend’s space. You may not have their full attention so please be patient with your children. This is our new normal and it is our job to help our children cope with this quarantine time.

By Michelle & Maria Dos Santos