Since the start of the pandemic people have been asked to change their habits. Some of us have been able to pivot and adjust to the new normal, others of us have struggled with the change and the uncertainty that comes with it. What about our kids? How has the constant changes in personal freedoms, social distancing, and access to education affected a young generation of learners. How can educators and parents support children through these challenging times? How can we make changes less scary for our kids?
Many of these questions can be answered with the simple act of mindfulness. BE MINDFUL OF THE CHANGES. This means to recognize when things are changing and how it may impact you and your family, especially your child(ren).
Be mindful of your child's routine -Changes to bedtimes and wake-up times, eating habits (time of lunch at school), and other schedule adjustments can have a big impact on your child's emotional health and ability to adapt to the changes. Be mindful of your family time and keep something consistent - find something in your family's daily routine that is consistent. Create a sense of normalcy by planning a special time for your family. This can be things like; dinner together, games each night, or family story time. Anything to press the pause button as a group and keep the family bonding is important.
Be mindful of the positive - it is easy to focus on all of the negative things happening around us. Focusing on things that are within your control and modeling a positive mindset not only eases the sting of tough times, but also sets you and your child up for being more resilient in the future. The ability to reframe a 'bad' experience into a learning opportunity or chance to improve leads to success in all areas of life. Let's not underestimate our children.
Throughout the pandemic the team at Hopkins have seen children adapt to the new normal with grace and ingenuity. Children are built to be resilient; as adults we can model positive ways to approach challenges and conflict. We are all feeling the pandemic fatigue, and it's okay to let your children see how you navigate tough emotions. As adults we can continue to be mindful of our emotions and the impact of our actions on the development of our children. Remain patient, show empathy, and allow mistakes to happen and be resolved. Above all, take it one day, one moment at a time. We are in this together.