Parent support during
challenging times

What a crazy time we are in. I don’t think any of us could have predicted a shutdown of schools and many stores and businesses. While this can all seem very scary and all the unknowns may create anxiety for some people, I am choosing to look at this a different way.

This is an opportunity for everyone to slow down, stop running here and there, spending tons of money and just take time to be with loved ones and take care of ourselves. Really… I see it as a gift where we can clear the calendars and just enjoy time with our family – the thing we all say we want more than anything!

With that being said, if you are not used to having your kids with you 24 hours a day, then it can cause a different kind of stress. I thought I would share some tips and ideas that may be helpful for your family.

A social story can be used as a learning tool to help children understand what is happening in their world with age appropriate language and visuals. Feel free to share this social story with your children if you feel it would be helpful to your family. Here is another link to an article with additional ways to talk with children about what is going on.

While you are at home, it can be difficult for everyone when typical routines are not place. It may be a good idea to create a routine that guides your day so children know what to expect. It may a loose visual schedule that includes things like: Wake, breakfast, play time, outdoor time, lunch, quiet time, creative time, outdoor time, dinner, quiet play, bedtime. What happens during those blocks can be flexible each day, but the routine will help. Visual schedules that provide the steps broken down that need to be completed can be very helpful for children. Here is a link to many that you can use.

While you may be tempted to keep children up later or stay up later yourself because you don’t have to get going as early, it may back-fire. Kids will tend to wake at the same time in the morning so if you put them to bed later, they are just going to get less sleep which could result in crabby kids and challenging behavior. Stick to your normal bedtime routine at the same time.

Remember that children are always aware of your feelings and overhear what you are talking about with other adults. Monitor how much your TV is on. Your children are going to follow your lead on how to handle this.

There are many great learning apps, things to stream and entertainment available. I would suggest making screen time a set time and duration during your day or your children will be bugging you all day for a screen. Remember that when you disengage a child from a screen, especially when they don’t want to be done, their brain is off kilter and you may see more challenging behavior. Help your kids regulate by making the time and duration very clear and then stick to it. Your battles will be lessened each day! Follow screen time with large motor movement – preferably outside if possible!

Are you feeling isolated? Let’s connect with other parents! I will be online Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. talking about routines, visual schedules, transitions and sleep. I will also answer questions!

You can connect to this FREE call Thursday, March 19 at 8:000 pm Central time at this ZOOM LINK.

If you are feeling challenged with your child’s behavior or sleep, please reach out and we can set up time to talk. Now is a great time to rebalance life and put energy into the things that are really important.