DON’T FORGET TO SMILE
Moms have time to develop a relationship with a child nine months before dads, and it can be quite a task “playing catch-up.” Why? Many fathers are the only bread winner in families, spending several hours “at the office” or in and around the office and get home well after children are in bed. Even when moms work outside of the home, they still spend more time “seeing about the kids” than dads. The pandemic forces many dads to be at home, so this is a good time to forge a close bond with your child. Discover his needs, laugh with him, hug your child and listen to his thoughts. Many children carry their fears and pain silently…break that silence with love.
MAINTAIN A REGULAR SCHEDULE
It is easy to think because your child does not have to attend school at a designated time, he can stay up late, sleep late and do things at will…mistake. Maintain a regular schedule, abrupt changes interrupt thought patterns, and can cause anxiety…keep to the normal routine.
DUAL ROLE AS PARENT AND TEACHER
Schools across America have closed for the school year due to “stay at home” orders, and parents find themselves as main or assistant teachers even though school districts are devising ways for children and teachers to continue class instruction. Therefore, striking a balance between parent and teacher can be a daunting process. What can be done to aid this new way of teaching your child? Become familiar with scheduled lessons, assignments due, and step-in when teachers are unable to direct and guide. Stay on top of computer classes and assignments…make sure your child is not watching movies or playing games during scheduled classes or assignments. Help the child understand this “new way of school” is equally important as the “old way.” Discipline and accountability are key to success.
TAKE TIME TO ANSWER YOUR CHILD’S QUESTIONS
Children usually ask questions (if they have a good relationship with parents) when something weighs heavily on their minds. Answer them with total honesty, and with as much information as you can… given their level of understanding. Ignoring them, could mean they will either seek answers in the wrong places or imagine answers that generate fear and anxiety.
LIMIT YOUR NEWS INTAKE
Limit your intake of news to local, state and national guidelines, as well as your child’s intake. Keep up with news that affect family well-being, but day-to-day heart-wrenching pictures, dire projections and explanations should be at a minimum, because they can cause fear, depression and a sense of helplessness. None of which help maintain a healthy mentality to deal with unique and unusual family situations that occur in the home. We are living with a crisis most of us have never experienced. Do not immerse yourself in COVID-19!
PROVIDE MORAL GUIDANCE
This is a time when so many things seem to be out of the human realm of control or human management…a time when things occur that seem to “just happen,” no advance notice and no known way to lessen their impact. It is wise to have a moral foundation yourself, so that you can help your child understand and believe in a Power that governs, protects, loves unconditionally and watches not only over his family, but the world also. And more importantly…this Power cannot be denied. Use words like: safety, protection, everlasting love and all-caring. You must believe yourself, in order to convince your child.
DO FUN THINGS
Do things that are not only educational, but fun as well. Table games, basement games like pool or table tennis can stimulate hand-eye co-ordination…also physical exercise.