PARENTING DURING CORONAVIRUS: TIPS + RESOURCES
Thank you to United Way Metropolitan Dallas for the great tips!
We are facing an unprecedented moment in history–a moment that comes with a lot of stress, anxiety and uncertainty. Between working to ensure you have the resources needed to support your children and managing your own stress, you’ve likely got a lot on your plate. You’re not the only one feeling it, rest assured. We’ve put together a list of helpful tips and resources to help you navigate the challenges of parenting during these times.
- Practice self-care. Stress, worry and anxiety can quickly drain your batteries. Make sure to recharge. Kids cannot regulate when their primary caregivers are not regulated.
- Establish a routine. Kids thrive on structure. Creating a schedule will help you and your kids stay focused—and it helps pass the time productively.
- Be reassuring. Acknowledge your kids’ fears. Remind them that they are safe and that everything will be ok.
- Keep your social network active. Stay connected by calling trusted friends and family regularly—use it as a stress outlet.
- Practice grace with yourself—and your children. You don’t have to have everything figured out perfectly. Focus on doing the best you can.
- Find an activity you and your children enjoy doing together. Do a puzzle, watch a family friendly show, go for a family walk, color or try baking together.
- Stay active. Exercise is good for mental health and physical health—even if it’s just a quick break to stretch or a walk around the block.
- Take a moment. Choose a time of day where you will check in with your children about how things are going. This might be breakfast, dinner, bedtime or mid-day. Ask questions about how they are feeling, what is working in their schedule—and what isn’t. Let them know their feedback matters.
- Manage screen time. Consider limiting the amount of time your child spends on screens. They will likely need to be on screens to complete schoolwork—but think about how you could limit time that isn’t necessary for school. Try rotating in non-screen time activities.
- Maintain sleep and nutrition. Children need sleep for brain and body growth. Set a bedtime and try to stick to it. Additionally, if possible, have a fruit and vegetable option on the plate at every meal.
- Ask for help. You are not alone. Contact local organizations to inquire about financial help, mental health and other resources.
Parenting can be challenging (and stressful) any day of the week—but particularly in times of economic hardships and uncertainty like we are facing with the Coronavirus crisis. We’ve put together a list of resources to help you establish a routine, manage stress, keep your kids engaged and learning and stay informed on childcare services.
Help for Parents. Hope for Kids.
Hope & Help is a community resource that offers parenting resources and parenting tip videos as well as dozens of fun kids activities like coloring pages, puzzles and worksheets.
Here are a few great ideas for self-care, managing stress, staying calm and connecting with your kids:
- Staying Calm When It’s Tough
- Stress Busters for Parents
- Take Care of Yourself
- 25 Ways to Connect With Your Child
Grow Up Great — Everyday Parenting Tips
PNC’s Grow Up Great site offers tons of everyday learning tips for parents around mealtime, bath time, morning routines, story time, outdoor time and more! You’ll also find some excellent Sesame Street Learning Resources like this Family Activity Book that’s chock-full of fun educational tools and exercises.
Character Building + Tough Conversations
The Child Mind Institute has some helpful information on talking to your kids about Coronavirus and addressing any fears they may have. This article from the National Association of School Psychologists is a great resource for difficult conversations as well—and includes additional tips on managing fears and anxiety.
EVERFI’s Discussion Guide for Parents and Offline Activity Guide for Community Leaders provide a great framework for connecting with kids to help them understand and manage emotions, communicate effectively, resolve conflict, analyze influences, make decisions and more.
Girl Scouts’ Raising Awesome Girls site provides information on how to help girls handle this difficult situation, providing articles and suggestions for parents to talk to their daughters.
Tune in to the Notes From the Backpack Podcast. Featuring experts, parent and educator guests, each episode offers engaging conversations with real-life advice and ideas on how to support children’s learning and development.
Kokomo School Corporation is proving 10 meals weekly (5 breakfasts + 5 lunches) to all Howard County Students.
Pick up is every Wednesday at the following locations.
▶Bon Air Middle School, 2796 N Apperson Way, 9AM to 12pm
▶Central Middle Schools, 303 E. Superior St, 9am to 12pm
▶Maplecrest Middle School, 2727 S. Washington, 9am to 12pm
Taylor Community School Corporation is providing meals every Tuesday for all Howard County Students. Pick up is from 11AM-12:30PM. Click here for more information.
This Instagram account posts a lot of great simple advice for parents, including education, self-care, managing anxiety and stress relief with a side of humor and encouragement.Here are 6 quick ideas for self-care—in 5 minutes or less.
- Take deep breaths
- Drink a glass of water
- Do stretches
- Spend 5 minutes organizing
- Write down 3 things you’re grateful for
- Say affirmations aloud
CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION
Between concerns over not being able to maintain the same income, the uncertainty of health issues and having kids home all day, the stress on everyone, particularly parents, has quickly grown. And so too has the risk of child abuse and neglect, particularly as we all shelter-in-place in isolation. Abuse hotlines can be an important lifeline for our community—for anxious parents in need of help or advice, for frightened children or for concerned friends or neighbors.
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
Childhelp offers a resource for both parents and children alike during this time. They are currently available to help during this public health crisis and welcome any phone calls.
Indiana Abuse Hotline
If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, please contact the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) toll free at 1-800-800-5556, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may also file a report using the secure DCS Abuse Hotline website.