For everyone living in Lafayette, IN, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant adapting to a lot of changes. But for families with younger children, the pandemic has had some profound, negative consequences. Depending on the state, different school districts closed down at different times earlier in the year, sowing chaos with child education.
However, it’s still not over, as the pandemic risk still lingers, and some schools offer distance learning. In contrast, others shut down when an outbreak is detected in the school. It’s made the balance between work and home life more challenging than ever. If you are a parent raising a young child in Lafayette, IN during the pandemic, and dealing with quarantine or lockdown situations, here are four tips to get through the experience.
Create New Routines
Structure is vital for a child. If the regular schedule is disrupted by a lockdown, school closure, or even quarantine, you need to create a new structure at home. It’s essential to divest children quickly of the idea that a stay at home is like a vacation where they can do whatever they like.
Set new schedules for learning, online classes, and homework. Show that there is still a structure in place even while at home during the day.
Validate Good Behavior
Positive reinforcement is always a better long term strategy for engendering lifelong good habits than negative reinforcement to discourage bad behavior. While it’s important to address improper conduct, what is more important for a child’s positive growth is recognizing good behavior and acknowledging it.
This is especially true in a pandemic situation. Even behavior that may have gone unremarked before, such as completing homework or doing chores, should now be given validation.
Before the pandemic, there was a worry that too much “screen time” might impact a child’s social development. Now, however, the use of online chats and “virtual playdates,” such as playing together with friends in an online video game, is the safest way for children to interact with peers without any health risk.
Extraordinary circumstances require new adaptations. In the same way that many parents are now using online technologies to work from home or conference with friends and relatives, children should also be considered. Getting out and playing in the yard is always a good idea, but the social world is a virtual one in a pandemic.
Ingrain Pandemic Habits
Perhaps the most important thing you can for children during the pandemic may also be the most challenging. It’s crucial to get children to learn essential COVID-19 safety precautions. The use of masks indoors in buildings other than home, or while in the presence of others. Social distancing practices whenever possible, and, of course, washing hands after tactile interactions with the outside environment.
By getting children to learn these habits, you protect them as well as everyone around them, as children are less likely to be severely affected by COVID-19 but can easily transmit it to others.
If you live in Lafayette, IN, and you have questions about child care or need child care services, we’re here for you. Contact Little Steps Daycare and let us help.