Unfortunately, it's not as easy as it sounds! Parents all over the US are now having to home school their children while keeping them occupied and safe. If you're worried about how to nurture your child during this crisis, you're not alone. There are a lot of things you can do to help them through this, such as new activities to taking walks with strollers for big kids.
Here are some tips for taking care of your child amid COVID-19
Just because there's a shelter in place order doesn't mean you can't go outside! Being stuck indoors 24/7 is depressing, even for adults. Imagine how a child feels! Regular exercise is a great way to create some family time. Take family walks, while also practicing safe social distancing. Movement is great for older kids like pre-teens and teenagers, and strollers can be used for young children in case they tire out easily.
Thankfully, there are strollers for big kids out there, too! You'll find everything from double strollers to umbrella strollers on this list. Fresh air is invigorating and can do wonders for mental health. Adding in regular family walks or outdoor activities will do wonders for your kids.
The best way to take care of your kids is to keep them healthy during this pandemic. According to the CDC, here are some steps you should take:
- Clean hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid people who are sick (coughing and sneezing).
- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (like tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, and sinks).
- Launder items including washable plush toys as needed. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
If your child is sick and on medication, make sure you continue to follow the directions from their doctor. Money can be tight right now for prescriptions, but there are places that can help that offer discount prescription cards. Most pharmacies accept it, and your prescription drugs could be discounted up to 50%. From the site, you can easily sign up and print out your discount card.
Keep a Routine
All experts agree that keeping a routine is essential when you're home all day, especially for young children. From the Child Mind Institute, a schedule should mimic a school day or day camp schedule. It should change activities at predictable times and switch between play and study time. You can even get them involved in planning the next day's schedule to help them follow the routine. Schedule things they enjoy doing after the activities they don't enjoy. You can also take this time to teach them life skills, such as a cooking class or learning how to iron clothes.
Take Care of You
Isn't it wild how kids can pick up on the slightest mood change in their parents? If you're stressed out and anxious, they're going to feel that too. You can't care for them if you aren't taking care of yourself. Talk to your friends and family, or even your therapist if you have one. Process your own feelings so you can help your children process theirs. Even on airplanes, you're told to apply your own oxygen mask before assisting others.
It's a very uncertain time right now, and there's not much that can be done. But you can take care of your family and create some fun memories along the way! So grab that jogging stroller and get some fresh air!