Children love structure (despite what they will tell you). Structure makes them feel safe and secure. During this stressful time of SARS Covid-19 many children and families are having trouble adjusting to the new “normal”.

 

Families are spending more time together, which is good for some and bad for others.

Being confined in the space of your home and social distancing with extended family and friends, teachers and school mates can become an issue for some.

 

It is important for parents to set the example for their children. Children are sponges and will mimic what they are seeing. They will pick up on your anxiety and fears and then manifest that in their own way. If you have a child who is anxious or needs extra exercise to deal with stress this can be challenging.

 

If you are a parent and you find that you are being verbally or physically abusive to your child GET HELP IMMEDIATELY. Counseling services such as amwell for patients, eCounseling, Faithful Counseling, ReGain, and talk space are just a few found with a quick search on-line. If you are drinking or drugging go to an AA (alcoholics anonymous) or NA (narcotic anonymous) meeting now.

 

Your mental health directly impacts that of your child. 

 

For children a schedule is important. Getting up at the same time each day and going to bed at the same time each day is helpful. We all now a child who has not slept enough is prone to meltdowns and tantrums no matter what age.

 

Next fill in meal and snack times. Children need predictability and food. Low blood sugar or to many snacks during the day and not enough nutritious food can really impact a child’s behavior. If you are having trouble finding food contact your local food pantry or place of worship. They are prepared for times like this. 

 

Dinner for breakfast, Breakfast for Dinner or a day to have a movie marathon is just fine. Have children cook in the kitchen with you and show off their dinner skills. You have the time and they just might find out they really do like green beans.

 

Exercise is a must. On sunny days go outside in the yard and play. Use chalk for the children to make drawings and happy messages for those out on a walk. They wash away and a new message can be placed the next day. For rainy days for families that live in areas where going outside is difficult have a dance party. See how can stand on one foot the longest, place “mother may I” and “simon says” or musical chairs. Just get up and move. Hulu hoops are making a comeback at the Dollar Store get one and see who is the Hulu Hoop champ of the house. 

 

Start a garden. Sunflower seeds grow fast and are fun to check on every day. Children can color a picture or arrange the flower in a jar when it is full grown. Vegetables of all sorts are also fun and don’t need more than a pot on a balcony for things like peppers and tomatos. You can even use the seeds from the tomato you ate last night for dinner to start the project. 

 

Yes, school time should be included, however if you are a parent and school time is just not working that’s okay. There are other ways to teach your children important lessons that are fun and educational for all. 

As the schools get on board with on-line classes this will help you, but if 6th grade math strikes horror in your heart go back to basics. Use monopoly money or real money and have the child earn money from chores or helpful tasks and then put prices on snacks and video time that they can use their “paycheck” for. This will help teach children how to budget and make smart choices. Saving up to be the one to pick the film for movie night teaches saving for the reward rather than immediate gratification. It’s a hard thing to learn but the sooner you do the better off you are.

 

Other ways to teach children are to take advantage of the on-line free museum tours of the Smithsonian, National Geographic, Cincinnati Zoo, or other such sites and watch as a family. Then discuss what they saw. Younger children can draw a picture of what they found most interesting and older children can do a written report and presentation. Both of these will help as the child ages and has to do presentations at school or work. 

 

Play a board game, cards or even better for older kids have them make a game out of construction paper and rocks found outside for pieces. Board games teach how to take turns, not to be a sore looser and in general are great family fun. Many board games have hidden math lessons (think Black jack) and monopoly. 

 

If you have extended family or the child is missing their friends you can set up the game at both homes and have a virtue game while chatting and catching up. 

 

For children that are anxious that they are going to get SARS Covid-19 the simple explanation is we are staying home and not playing with our friends because we don’t want to get sick. This is why we wash our hands for two Happy Birthday songs, don’t touch our face and if we sneeze of cough we do it toward our elbow or into a tissue and then throw out the tissue and wash our hands. 
 

Short age appropriate answers are the best. For older children  you can go into more detail. 

If your child is overwhelmed and the level of anxiety to much: ie: not sleeping, stuck on thinking and worrying so much about the virus that they are not eating or sleeping you should seek the advice of your pediatrician’s office. 

Children love structure (despite what they will tell you). Structure makes them feel safe and secure. During this stressful time of SARS Covid-19 many children and families are having trouble adjusting to the new “normal”.

 

Families are spending more time together, which is good for some and bad for others.

Being confined in the space of your home and social distancing with extended family and friends, teachers and school mates can become an issue for some.

 

It is important for parents to set the example for their children. Children are sponges and will mimic what they are seeing. They will pick up on your anxiety and fears and then manifest that in their own way. If you have a child who is anxious or needs extra exercise to deal with stress this can be challenging.

 

If you are a parent and you find that you are being verbally or physically abusive to your child GET HELP IMMEDIATELY. Counseling services such as amwell for patients, eCounseling, Faithful Counseling, ReGain, and talk space are just a few found with a quick search on-line. If you are drinking or drugging go to an AA (alcoholics anonymous) or NA (narcotic anonymous) meeting now.

 

Your mental health directly impacts that of your child. 

 

For children a schedule is important. Getting up at the same time each day and going to bed at the same time each day is helpful. We all now a child who has not slept enough is prone to meltdowns and tantrums no matter what age.

 

Next fill in meal and snack times. Children need predictability and food. Low blood sugar or to many snacks during the day and not enough nutritious food can really impact a child’s behavior. If you are having trouble finding food contact your local food pantry or place of worship. They are prepared for times like this. 

 

Dinner for breakfast, Breakfast for Dinner or a day to have a movie marathon is just fine. Have children cook in the kitchen with you and show off their dinner skills. You have the time and they just might find out they really do like green beans.

 

Exercise is a must. On sunny days go outside in the yard and play. Use chalk for the children to make drawings and happy messages for those out on a walk. They wash away and a new message can be placed the next day. For rainy days for families that live in areas where going outside is difficult have a dance party. See how can stand on one foot the longest, place “mother may I” and “simon says” or musical chairs. Just get up and move. Hulu hoops are making a comeback at the Dollar Store get one and see who is the Hulu Hoop champ of the house. 

 

Start a garden. Sunflower seeds grow fast and are fun to check on every day. Children can color a picture or arrange the flower in a jar when it is full grown. Vegetables of all sorts are also fun and don’t need more than a pot on a balcony for things like peppers and tomatos. You can even use the seeds from the tomato you ate last night for dinner to start the project. 

 

Yes, school time should be included, however if you are a parent and school time is just not working that’s okay. There are other ways to teach your children important lessons that are fun and educational for all. 

As the schools get on board with on-line classes this will help you, but if 6th grade math strikes horror in your heart go back to basics. Use monopoly money or real money and have the child earn money from chores or helpful tasks and then put prices on snacks and video time that they can use their “paycheck” for. This will help teach children how to budget and make smart choices. Saving up to be the one to pick the film for movie night teaches saving for the reward rather than immediate gratification. It’s a hard thing to learn but the sooner you do the better off you are.

 

Other ways to teach children are to take advantage of the on-line free museum tours of the Smithsonian, National Geographic, Cincinnati Zoo, or other such sites and watch as a family. Then discuss what they saw. Younger children can draw a picture of what they found most interesting and older children can do a written report and presentation. Both of these will help as the child ages and has to do presentations at school or work. 

 

Play a board game, cards or even better for older kids have them make a game out of construction paper and rocks found outside for pieces. Board games teach how to take turns, not to be a sore looser and in general are great family fun. Many board games have hidden math lessons (think Black jack) and monopoly. 

 

If you have extended family or the child is missing their friends you can set up the game at both homes and have a virtue game while chatting and catching up. 

 

For children that are anxious that they are going to get SARS Covid-19 the simple explanation is we are staying home and not playing with our friends because we don’t want to get sick. This is why we wash our hands for two Happy Birthday songs, don’t touch our face and if we sneeze of cough we do it toward our elbow or into a tissue and then throw out the tissue and wash our hands. 
 

Short age appropriate answers are the best. For older children  you can go into more detail. 

If your child is overwhelmed and the level of anxiety to much: ie: not sleeping, stuck on thinking and worrying so much about the virus that they are not eating or sleeping you should seek the advice of your pediatrician’s office. 

When Your Child Has Trouble With Quarantine

by Christine Mason CPNP-BC

10492 Bristow Center Drive, Bristow VA 20136

phone 571-379-4246  *  fax 571-379-4276   

Sunday Closed* Monday - Thursday 8 am-5 pm* Friday 9 am-5 pm * Saturday 9am-noon