How can we help young children understand more about social distancing and wearing masks? This might seem like an impossible dilemma for parents of active and social kids. Part of child development is learning how to play, share, talk, and tumble together, and it’s hard to push kids to modify these sweet moments of interaction in response to COVID-19. As cities emerge from their shelter-in-place orders, the complexities of playdates and summer camps might be confusing for everyone to navigate.
When it comes to tackling any tough topic with your children, age-appropriate honesty is always going to be your best bet. “If we want to raise our children to be compassionate people who participate as responsible citizens in a democracy, we need to find ways to talk with them about the thorny issues that we struggle with as a country,” wrote Dr. Laura Markham of Aha! Parenting.
We’ve all felt rushed at times, and this can lead to accidental omissions. How can we slow down, and make sure we keep track of what matters? This is the challenge that Thomas the Tank Engine™ faces in the book Thomas’ Train. It is the fourth in Caribu’s series of Thomas & Friends™ 75th Anniversary Video Read Alouds featuring Kevin Jonas.
There are lots of reasons why sleep has become more difficult for your children, but three main ones come to mind: schedule changes, lack of physical activity, and higher levels of anxiety. Our schedules are no longer as consistent as they were. Bedtimes and rise times are often a moving target when there’s no school bus coming. And, homeschooling while juggling work and other responsibilities can make it hard to find the time to help your kids get the kind of physical activity that can help them sleep well at night. Finally, your children may be picking up on your own anxiety and may be asking for a bit more help than is typical to get to sleep at night. What can we do about these issues?
Overnight, I had been handed the one thing I so fiercely desired—time—and yet I was miserable. Social media and unrelenting Ikea commercials featuring happy families thriving in isolation suggested that my feelings were abnormal. I was beginning to agree with them. I needed help.
Being stuck inside with your kids for an indefinite amount of time due to a global pandemic is stressful enough. It’s even worse when those kids can’t stop bickering. For many parents, this is the new reality. Siblings, cooped up and frustrated, are fighting more than they normally might, and nobody can escape.
For the first time in my children’s lives, they are not being rushed to put on shoes or get out the door. There are no scheduled piano lessons or gymnastics classes for which we cannot be late. No standardized tests. No carpools or playdates or summer day-camps that we frantically booked months in advance.