Attention: Please note that all UNF Camps and Programs have been postponed until 2021.

Are We There Yet? Helping Your Kids Cope with Covid-19

May 1, 2020

Coping with the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 is challenging for us adults. Between children in the background of every conference call and attempting to turn our kitchen tables into classrooms, we definitely have a lot on our plates right now. However, our kids have been served quite the helping as well. Suddenly, overnight, hugs and kisses are viewed as dangerous, staying away from grandparents is an act of love, and going to school is forbidden. Even kids who didn’t like going to school in the first place miss their classmates (if not the classroom). With summer fast approaching, the restlessness, loneliness, and confusion may increase. What will the future hold? Will I see my friends this summer? The stress of not having an answer is hard to swallow, for both you and them. But there is hope and support. If you’re not sure how to reassure your kids during this difficult time, we’ve put together some tips on how to help kids cope with this strange new reality.

1. Be Honest and Available!

Take some time to sit down with your kids and talk to them about what’s going on. Start off by asking them what they already know about the virus and what they want to know. Answer their questions, explain what coronavirus is, how it spreads, and what the risk of getting the virus is. In your conversation:
  • Reinforce how important it is to keep doing what they’re doing – learning from home, distancing themselves from friends, and not playing on the playground. Let them know that everything they’re doing now is helping to keep everybody around them safe.
  • Reassure them that you are there for them during this hard time, that you are not going anywhere and will stay healthy to take care of them.
  • Remind them that this situation isn’t permanent, and they’ll be having sleepovers and complaining about going back to school in no time!

2. Stay Clean!

We have it as a rule at camp, and I am sure it is the same in your home -wash your hands! Teach your kids about germs, reinforce the importance of staying clean and demonstrate proper handwashing. Have the kids sing any version of “Mnohaya Lita” from beginning to end – that should keep them entertained and “squeaky” clean! (Not to mention, it’s a pretty reinforcing song!)

Fun “How Germs Work” Experiment:
  1. Fill a plate with water and then add ground pepper. The pepper will act as the virus or germs.
  2. Have your child put his/her finger in the water. Notice how it gets covered in pepper flakes (or, in this case, germs).
  3. Coat another finger in hand soap and then put it back in the water. Watch the pepper (germs) move away!
  4. 3. Keep a Routine

    With school and extra curricular cancellations, daily routines have been tossed out the window. Try to create new routines and daily predictability that flows well with their needs to help kids adjust to the changes in their lives. Kids need consistency, fun and attention to their needs, especially in the midst of all this anxiety and uncertainty. Schedule playtime together often throughout the day, it makes the hour of homeschooling more bearable (sort of…)

    4. Creative Quality Time

    Find creative ways to have fun as a family! Kids haven’t seen their friends in weeks and they miss having playmates, big time. That’s where you come in! Join them in building their next Lego world or in completing a new puzzle. Try doing some arts and crafts or just build a cool fort for that next movie night! Or just simply play with LOLs together. This time, for all it’s uncertainty, is still precious. Take advantage, as it is a gift to be able to have the time to play with your children. Making the time to be creative together will reinforce your bond for many years post-COVID 19.

    5. Stay Social!

    Thankfully, we have so many online options for staying connected with our friends and families. Virtual socializing can be extremely important for kids who are feeling lonely or bored. Set up virtual playdates with friends, cousins, or even grandparents. Staying in touch with loved ones gives them a chance to see that they’re not in this alone.

    We hope these tips help you and your family stay safe and happy during these difficult times. Just remember to keep talking, keep playing, and keep washing those hands!

    Stay Safe!

    We will soar again together soon!

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