Can you believe it’s already September? Summer came and went fast as it usually does. And now kids are getting ready to pick up the books again! While they’d usually be laying out their favorite outfits and getting nervous to meet their new teachers and classmates, this school year is fixing to look a lot different for some students than years past.
To keep everyone safe and healthy during COVID, many schools have opted towards virtual classrooms. And while the wonders of technology sure are impressive, there’s no doubt that these new changes will be challenging for many children. So, we’ve compiled a list of ways to show a little extra kindness to kids transitioning into distance learning. Let’s make this as positive and easy on them as possible!
- Start a routine – Chances are your little ones are feeling a bit out of whack hanging at home all day. But what if you could make your days fun? Having a routine offers needed stability while allowing you to add a little silliness to your day! Maybe you start the morning with a tooth brushing dance party to your favorite songs. Perhaps you turn breakfast into a game by finding ways to add smiley faces to your meal. You can even schedule some after school outdoor time to encourage fresh air and exercise before bed!
- Get fed – We all know how important it is to eat. Not only do we look forward to meals because, let’s face it… food is delicious, but kids (and adults) can get moody on an empty stomach! Fuel your little ones and yourselves with a healthy and hearty breakfast to kick start your days. Take some time in the afternoon to enjoy lunch and keep the snacks coming! Remember that staying well-fed will promote brain functioning and focus while also supporting mood stability for your little one!
- Make jokes – Distance learning days can feel long and it’s easy to find yourself and your kiddo feeling a little grumpy as the hours drag on. Keeping an eye out for opportunities to laugh can lighten the mood! If your little one starts getting frustrated or overwhelmed, help put a smile on their faces. Remind them not to take themselves too seriously! We’re all just out here doing our best, anyways. Let them know that that in itself is always enough.
- Take breaks – Never take for granted the power of a break! Taking a few minutes periodically to step away from the computer screen and shake it off can turn the rest of the day around for your little one. Maybe you decide to take five minutes every hour and do jumping jacks together on the patio or play with the dog. However you work it out, make sure to schedule breaks into your kiddo’s daily routine. And keep an eye out for those moments when a spontaneous break might be just what the doctor ordered!
- Practice patience – Remember that this shift into distance learning is just as difficult for your little one as it is for you. The difference is that they have less perspective on the reasons for these changes. Add that to the fact that they are quite a few years behind us in regards to coping skills, and you’ll find all the compassion you need to practice patience with your kiddos despite the daily challenges.
- Teach kindness – Your children look to you as an example of how to behave. And now that you are home together all day, they have a lot more time to learn from you. Consciously model kindness in your interactions with them throughout the day. Be kind to them, to their classmates, their classmates’ parents, and their teachers. Don’t just tell them to be kind, but show them how. Remember, an act of kindness a day has lasting effects on the giver as well as the receiver. Your little ones will be feeling better than ever and their teachers will be thanking you too!