There is no doubt that this is a stressful time; life appears to have come to a standstill and there is a great deal of uncertainty and anxiety about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Our way of life has changed, and our day-to-day routines have been disrupted.
I said to friends yesterday that while we cannot ignore or minimize the challenge of this situation (financially, emotionally, and physically), we can seize on the opportunity to focus on our families, friends, neighbors, and communities and deepen our relationships with loved ones. We can spend time reading those books we have always wanted to read, checking out new podcasts, connecting with others via phone, Skype or FaceTime, or doing things outdoors.
If you are a parent, do not be afraid to discuss the coronavirus with children in an appropriate manner. By now, most children have already heard about the virus and with schools closing, children will want to know why. Not talking about something can actually make kids worry more. So, reassure them and help them to feel safe and secure, and continue to practice good hygiene and model healthy habits.
Parents who have children receiving special education and related services should speak with school officials to determine how they will deliver the service minutes indicated in your child’s IEP.
Here are some resources I hope will help parents during this time:
- Coping with Coronavirus Anxiety
- What Does the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Mean for Families?
- Talking to Kids About Coronavirus
- Talking to Teens and Tweens About Coronavirus
- Coronavirus BrainPOP Video
- Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus
- Legal FAQs on Coronavirus, School Closings, and Special Education
- Why You May Want to Rethink Parties and Playdates
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) CDC Updates
If you have kids, grandchildren or young family members who will be at home due to school closures, here are some fun activities:
- Write letters or make art to send to other family members
- Play board games
- Create an art zone in your home
- Watch kid baking shows and then make your own goodies
- Finally, print out those pictures on your phone and put them in a photo album
- Build forts in the living room
- Go camping in your own backyard
- Make a movie or documentary with a phone or tablet
- Movie nights!
- Take a walk through your neighborhood
- Practice yoga or mindfulness – Mindfulness apps for kids
- Access engaging online materials such as:
Remember that this will pass, and it is important to practice.self-care
Sending well wishes to you and your family,
Dr. Karen Wilson