Helping Your Kids (and You) During COVID

Helping Your Kids (and You) During COVID
Posted on 03/31/2020

social distancingArticle by  Dr. Ron Fischler


We are all living through a new reality that is likely to last weeks at least. Schools have closed, parks and places where kids play together are now off limits and we are told to “shelter in place” to prevent the spread and “flatten the curve” on transmission, which has worked effectively in China and Korea. Parents are working from home and may need a quiet space apart from the kids for periods of time. And kids need to be kids and have access to activities to keep them engaged and learning as schools try and figure out how to respond with online learning options.

As parents of children, how to best take care of our kids during this time and how best to take care of ourselves? From the doctors and social work team at North Scottsdale Pediatrics:

1. Maintain safe connections with others while physically distancing. Practice safe physical distancing. With every person outside the household there is additional risk. So it means kids need to interact with friends virtually with no exceptions. But do maintain daily connections especially with friends and family using Face Time or Zoom.

2. Be Healthy. Get exercise and fresh air, but carefully and with separation of at least 6 feet between friends or neighbors. Consider hiking on non-crowded trails or walking or bike riding in the neighborhood or back yard.

3. Establish a routine. Online school, read, write stories or journal, play music, sing songs, reading poems, plant a garden, play games, do projects, or family cooking are some ideas to occupty the time. Try and follow a daily routine rather than a complete free for all.

4. Cut everyone some slack. These are scary times. At times it can feel overwhelming. Kids will express stress in ways that vary with age. Young ones may sense our stress and become whiny or irritable or have melt downs. School aged kids may manifest anxiety and fears: of going out, of going to bed, or difficulty sleeping. Address kids fears and concerns and explain why we have to do this to stay healthy and keep others, especially our older folks, from becoming ill. Here’s a good approach from the Mayo Clinic to help foster discussion with your kids during the pandemic.

5. Try meditation. Some great apps for meditation for school aged children through adults include Headspace, Smiling Mind, and Calm. If you are worried about how you or your child is doing, call our social workers for a telemedicine counseling session. See one of our social workers, Lauren, discuss some strategies in this video.

6. Avoid information overload yet respond to questions and fears. If watching the news gets you upset, do less of that. Focus on the positive stories and look for good things to talk about.

North Scottsdale Pediatrics

  • Ironwood Office - 9827 N. 95th St. Suite 105, Scottsdale, AZ 85258 Phone: (480)-860-8488
  • Deer Valley Office - 21807 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85255 Phone: (480)-860-8488

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