Starting a new school year can be an exciting time but add in the coronavirus pandemic – parents and kids are presented with logistical hurdles and a different set of anxieties, stressors and challenges.

For most parents, anxiety typically causes us to lose our cool. It is important to remember that your kids are close by, they are listening to you, watching you, and often copying your every move. Make a conscious effort to model behavior and manage conversations so your child does not take on the stress you may be feeling.

While spending energy on the what-if situations, it may be helpful to consider what is in your control and what is not. Whether your school district offers in-person or online learning is not in your control. However, what you choose to do with your child, is your decision. Again – trust yourself on what you feel is best. Only you and your family can decide what’s best for your health and wellbeing.

Help ease your kids through the transition by listening to their fears and talking about them. It may surprise you that their fears may be about something completely different than what you’ve assumed they are!

Creating a sense of normalcy through traditions can calm anxiety and fear of the unknowns. Family traditions, what some refer to as touchpoints, help family members know what to expect and look forward to. For example, having a family game night once a week may be the new normal. This is a great way to create a fun environment and keep your family connected well beyond this pandemic!

Here are some ideas for tradition touchpoints:
* Baking night
* Help make dinner – select, make and name
* Outdoor exploring – parks, hiking, fishing, boating
* Stream shows you watched as a kid
* Zoom call or playdate with family members or friends on a consistent day
* Pizza night, taco night
* Craft night – drawing, painting, building

What are your tradition touchpoints? How do you stay connected and what do you look forward to each week? Please share your ideas in the Facebook Group!

Our Facebook group, Parent Support – Shine Each Day, is a great place where parents can share what is going on and gain support from one another as we navigate COVID 19. Additionally, you are invited to join me and other parents on August 20th from 1:00 – 2:00 CST to learn some ideas to help the transition. There will be time for sharing so please bring your ideas of what you have found helpful over the last six months.

Parenting during COVID – Thursday, August 20th 1:00 – 2:00 CST
Being a parent during COVID has changed the way we do things, increased our fears and created many challenges. Join other parents as we discuss how they are managing their journey and walk away with some practical tips of things you can do the help prepare for the fall.
Topics discussed include:
• Parental stress and how you can manage it
• Preparing for school
• Strategies that help kids cope
• Sharing of ideas from parents
Facilitated by Kathy Matthews, Shine Each Day, Licensed Parent Educator, M.Ed

Sign me up!