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parenting from home 1Today many families are facing additional challenges with the COVID-19 reality. Our daily lives have been disrupted. We are not sure what tomorrow may bring, and for many of us the nonstop news and social media coverage is not helping. While we should make sure we are informed about how best to keep our families safe, we should also be thoughtful about what we are reading online to make sure it is helpful.  It is easy to inadvertently get sucked into reading or watching every news update.

For parents, it may be tempting to get kids together for play dates or sleepovers, but this should be avoided. Social distancing only works if we all participate. And slowing down or preventing the spread of the virus will save lives.  Since changes in routine can be stressful, it will be helpful to talk with your kids about why they are staying home and what your daily structure will be during this time. Let them help create a daily schedule that can hang on the refrigerator or somewhere they can see it each day. Be sure to include breaks from tele-work or schoolwork to relax and connect with each other. It can be hard to accept that our old routines are no longer possible because of COVID-19 precautions. [However], looking for ways to be flexible and start a new routine can help you feel less anxious and more productive.

Typically, parents habitually think that setting boundaries for a child is a way to make our lives easier, but in fact kids thrive on them, too. It is easy for children to get bored or restless if they are facing a day without structure, and anxiety can thrive under those circumstances.  Ensure that you are structuring their days when they are cooped up at home. Alternate chores or schoolwork with more interactive activities and periods of free time. As restrictions lift and summer sets in, be sure to incorporate safe, socially distant outdoor activities as well.  Furthermore, make sure children are still getting the chance to exercise and socialize with friends through video chats and social media if they are on it.

Note: This article was first published on www.psychologytoday.com

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