As the world starts to grapple with the effects of the Coronavirus, everyday life has taken a dramatic shift. As parents, we are trying to understand what is going on and how long this will affect our lives. Schools are closed, people are working from home, events, parties and our way of life is on hold. As families come together during COVID-19 in a way we have not seen before, each day continues to bring more uncertainty. But, Instead of focusing on the things we can’t control, let’s focus on what we can. Ourselves and family!
Here are some parenting tips as families come together during COVID-19:
- Be proactive to make sure your children understand what is happening. Educate them on the basics of the virus and how it spreads. Reassure them that they are safe, but like all viruses, they can be exposed to germs. Your children will feel much better hearing information and reassurance from you, even if you don’t have all of the answers.
- The world is slowing down. Slow down with your children by reading, relaxing, doing projects around the house, cooking together, and bonding. Keep children busy with school work, fun projects, and family time. Limit screen time for everyone, especially over-watching the news. Make sure you spend time outdoors to remind yourself that life continues. Take time to be together.
- Press the reset button and focus on yourself with as much passion as you do with your family. Catch up on sleep, projects, and other tasks that are difficult to complete during the week.
- Make this time a learning moment and teach your children about the benefits of proper hygiene, including handwashing, not sharing drinks, and keeping their hands away from their faces. Parents should lead by example without becoming an alarmist.
- Teach your children about compassion, especially if people are sick in your house. Take care of each other and do things to make each other feel good. Exchange back rubs and foot rubs. Prepare a cold compress like Chilly Bear for someone that has a fever. Showing that you care for another person teaches children to be compassionate. This is a beautiful gift to give to your children.
- Tip: While the entire family is together, take this time to teach relaxation techniques. Focused or diaphragmatic breathing is a quick and easy method. One simple breathing exercise is to place your hands on your belly and take a slow deep breath in through your nose and let the air out through your nose. Focus on the air moving in and out through the tip of your nose. Feel you belly gently lift and fall with your breath. Set a timer and try this for 45 seconds or longer. The younger your children are, the harder it might be for them to try this for any extended amount of time. Even taking one or two breaths is a step in the right direction. Ask your family to share how this breathing exercise helped them to feel. For a story that teaches this breathing technique, download Sea Otter Cove.
Rick Lite, co-founder of Stress Free Kids and founder of Stress Free Book Marketing, stands at the forefront of the ever-changing book industry. He is a seasoned book marketing professional with over 16 years of experience in the industry. Rick’s expertise comes from tirelessly working on new and innovative ways to market his own books and digital media with his company and parent company, Stress Free Kids. Embracing the core values of integrity, innovation, and growth, Rick works closely with authors to create custom, robust book marketing programs. His easy-going manner provides “stress-free” support and comfort to authors going through the book marketing process for the first time. Rick is quick to share his knowledge and “insider tips” for a successful marketing campaign that will lead to increased exposure, awareness and most importantly, sales.