As schools close and “stay at home” orders are in effect, parents everywhere are struggling to keep children healthy and occupied. KXAN News recently featured Dr. Hani Talebi, the director of pediatric psychology at Dell Children’s Medical Center with an in-depth interview regarding socializing and kids during this pandemic.
- Keep your support network strong, even when you’re only able to call or text friends and family. Socializing plays an important role in regulating your mood and helping you stay grounded. And the same is true for your children.
- Let kids use social media (within reason) and Skype or FaceTime to stay connected to peers even if they aren’t usually allowed to do so. Communication can help kids feel less alone and mitigate some of the stress that comes from being away from friends.
- Technology can also help younger kids feel closer to relatives or friends they can’t see at the moment.
Look for ways to make learning fun:
- Have hands-on activities, like puzzles, painting, drawing, and making things.
- Independent play can also be used in place of structured learning. Encourage children to build a fort from sheets or practice counting by stacking blocks.
- Practice handwriting and grammar by writing letters to family members. This is a great way to connect and limit face-to-face contact.
- Start a journal with your child to document this time and discuss the shared experience.
- Use audiobooks or see if your local library is hosting virtual or live-streamed reading events.