This is a scary time for all of us, and our children are feeling it more than we might realize. Whether or not they understand the things being said in hushed tones around them by the adults in their lives, they can feel the energy we’re all exuding, and in many cases, it’s not positive. Although your preschool children lack the language skills to really comprehend the detail of what’s happening around us, they’re experiencing everything you are.
Here are some things you can do to help your young child navigate this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic:
Make Your Home A Safe Space
There’s something in our minds that tells us we need to stay informed at all times about what is going on in the world. So we keep the news on around-the-clock in the background so as to not miss out on a single fact or opinion. All of this information is being absorbed into the minds of everyone in your family and it’s not making anyone feel better. Make your home a safe place for your young family members by shutting off the television and letting kids be kids. Then watch how it also lowers your own anxiety to not constantly be listening to negative news.
Explain In Words They Understand
As you try to talk through our current situation with your children you may be tempted to use big words and concepts that they are not fully able to understand. Instead, find ways to simplify these big concepts, and make sure you help them find ways to participate in their own safety. For instance, hand washing and wearing masks are simple but powerful ways to keep children safe.
Develop A New Routine
More than anything your children are probably missing their routine. They want to know why they can’t go see their friends, visit grandma, or go to school. Think about how jarring it has been for you, as an adult, to completely upend your schedule and lifestyle. Imagine experiencing the same sensation without having any control over your life. Anything you can do to maintain a sense of normalcy will make a difference to your preschool children. Keeping a regular nap and snack schedule, taking walks, and mixing scheduled activities (like art and reading) with unbridled free-play will make your home feel a little bit more like the comforts of preschool.
In all the effort you take to make your home feel safe for your children, remember that it is you, not your house, that makes your children feel safe. So be sure to take care of yourself as well. The impacts of this pandemic are big, far-reaching, and scary. Make sure you’re getting the support that you need so you can be strong and available for your kids. For more information about how to entertain and educate your children while they’re learning from home, contact us anytime.