Helping Your Children Return to School After Coronavirus Closures

Guest Blogger, Jenna Sherman of Parent-Leaders

None of us were prepared for the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdown, and it’s hard to tell what effect this whole ordeal has had on our children. Now, as schools make plans to reopen, kids and parents have to navigate a whole new set of challenges. Will your children be able to pick up where they left off? Do they need help getting up to speed on their studies? Can you protect your family from COVID-19 when your kids return to their crowded classrooms? Here are some great resources to answer your questions and prepare your kids for a smooth back-to-school transition.

Smoothing the Transition

Your kids may be excited to go back to school, but they may also feel a little overwhelmed by the abrupt change.

  • Encourage your kids to talk about their concerns.
  • Have your children start going to bed earlier a week or two before school starts again.
  • Plan school lunches and weeknight meals ahead of time to reduce household stress.
  • Your child may benefit from the support of a Certified Child Life Specialist.
Learning at Home

Help your children get back on track with their studies by supporting learning at home.

  • Make sure your kids have a calm and quiet place to study at home.
  • Look for teachable moments throughout your daily life.
  • Research at-home educational resources online.
  • Find ways to apply what your kids are learning in school to real-world situations.
  • If you have younger kids, read with them every night.
Avoiding COVID-19

While schools are reopening with special plans in place to protect students and educators, don’t hesitate to take your own COVID-19 precautions. 

  • Send your kids to school with effective hand sanitizer.
  • Make handwashing a fun activity for your kids.
  • Encourage your kids to choose outdoor play when possible.
  • Deep clean and disinfect the surfaces in your home frequently.

It’s okay if your children are worried or anxious about returning to school after such a long and unexpected break. The transition back to school may be easier for some kids than others. Do what you can to help your kids adjust, and they’ll be back in the swing of things soon enough—kids are amazingly adaptable!

Related Articles

Supporting Children and Teens During COVID-19

Supporting Families Through Virtual Child Life Services

 

Supporting Youth During a Pandemic: Virtual Sessions for LGBTQ+ Parents

We are currently facing unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has created trauma, loss, and a rise in anxiety for many. Our Family Coalition,  is a Bay Area nonprofit supporting LGBTQ+ families. They recognize the need to support their community members who are navigating this new norm.

I will be facilitating a free three-part series to help parents cope by providing practical tools and resources.

Learn how to: 
  • Ease children’s fear and anxiety related to COVID-19
  • Foster healthy relationships at home
  • Utilize therapeutic play activities and coping strategies
  • Instill self-care techniques
First Session: 

Supporting Tweens and Teens During COVID-19

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 from 8-9:30pm

Click Here to register

Second Session:

Supporting Young Children Coping with COVID-19

Monday, July 13, 2020 from 12-1:30pm

Click Here to register

Third Session:

Parent Respite During COVID-19

Wednesday, August 5, 2020 from 8-9:30pm

Click Here to Register 

If your organization is interested in having a workshop led, please email Shani at Childlifemommy@gmail.com.

Related Articles:

Supporting Families Through Virtual Child Life Services

Supporting Children and Teens During COVID-19

 

Tips to Support a Child Receiving Stitches

The first set of stitches is in the books for my little guy, Blake.  After I tossed him in a pond our giant lab, Tank leaped right on top of him. His paw hit Blake’s face and punctured his lip. Both of my kids freaked out. I mean full on tears and a hard time breathing. Blake went limp like a ragdoll, puked before we got him in the car, and then fell asleep from exhaustion. He was at a level 10 for anxiety. We had a 2-hour drive to urgent care, so it gave us time to regroup and calm down.

Here is what we did to make the situation go from high anxiety with pain and trauma to a successful procedure.
  1. I stayed calm. I lowered my voice, made good eye contact, and reminded him that this was my job.
  2. I prepared him for what he would experience. I gave him lots of details and cleared up misconceptions.
    I talked about his job of keeping his body still and breathing. I explained that stitches are string bandaids and that the doctor will numb the area so that he wouldn’t feel it.
  3. I validated his emotions and provided reassurance. “You are so scared right now. I will be there to help you.”
  4. Advocacy. This was a big one for me. I advocated for topical numbing cream which the doctor was hesitant on but then agreed. I knew it would decrease the pain from the lidocaine injection.
  5. Comfort hold. There was a papoose board in the trauma room and B asked what it was. Every meme that The iPad Lady has posted went through my head. There was no way they were going to use that. He was able to lay directly on my chest in a position for comfort.
  6. Distraction. I held up my phone so B could watch a movie during the procedure.
  7. Choices. I gave him as many choices as I could.
  8.  ONE VOICE. When he was getting the stitches it was just the doctor and us, no other team members. Everyone was super calm, the doctor would talk to him about what he was doing before he did it.
  9.  Procedural Support. I named things that he was doing great on, slow deep breaths & keeping his body still.
  10.  Bravery Reward. Yes, he got ice cream and chose a small toy for being so brave.

Highlights: The doctor said,” Good idea Mom on the numbing cream.” ❤️

You can continue to help kids process their experiences and feel empowerment when you ask them to share their stories. It could be done through medical play, art, journaling, or verbaling telling you.

 

Related Articles:

Medical Play 

5 Tips to Help Your Child at The Doctor 

How to Pack an Emergency Go Bag