How ARE you?
Mary Reaves • 3/19/2020
Hello, friends. Mary here. I am wondering if any other parents out there are feeling like me today? It is Day 4 and I am trying to navigate a new schedule, constant desires for snacks, and a packet of work that would make any non-teacher want to cry [Cara’s note: It makes me want to cry, too!] I talked with Cara today and we wondered about how to make our families feel a little more supported and decided that maybe just a little bit of “You’re doing great!” and “You don’t have to teach them everything in one day!” might be helpful.
We have thrown together a list of a few easy resources that you might find helpful but the biggest goal of this post is to make sure you know that just surviving this whole thing is okay. Taking a minute to hug your kiddo(s) and talk to them about why things are happening like they are is okay. Here’s a link to talking about COVID-19 with your kids but if you are like me and have also been overwhelmed with all the information – the simplest advice I have for you is to just see what questions they have and try to answer them. We often feel the need to tell them everything and give them all the information we have, but sometimes the best thing is just to see what they want to know and start there. You might find they only have one question and that’s all they need for you to answer for them today. That is okay! They may also really be missing their friends or their teachers, and that is okay, too! The more you can validate how they’re feeling, without trying to “fix” it, the more they will feel things are okay. It is normal to feel worried or scared or even angry when things aren’t normal. Let them know you understand they feel that way and ask how you can help. They may not know so offer a hug or just to sit next to you for a few minutes. Sometimes, the simplest thing we can do is just be there.
Here are a few other ways to help manage any anxiety you or they might be feeling:
Reassure them they’re safe
Let them talk about their worries
Share how YOU cope with stress or worry
Limit their exposure to social media or news
Come up with a schedule – even if it is simple-like this
go outside in the morning
watch 3 educational videos (ideas below)
read two books
Avoid excessive media coverage
Connect with friends/family/others thru social media or FaceTime or phone calls
Add extra time in the schedule above for yourself to de-stress (a bath, a minute to breath in the shower, a walk)
Some of us are worried about how we will pay our bills and feed our kids. These are scary times and we are trying to be teachers and parents (and many of us also trying to work!) while carrying all that weight. I wanted to make sure you knew where to find the lunches being provided to ALL students across the state. Check here to find your school location for lunch drop-off or delivery for Midlands Area Districts, Upstate Area Districts, PeeDee, and LowCountry.
The other thing we have happening in our house right now is the varied level of ages and interests. So, thankfully, there are some super creative folks out there putting together some great ideas for us to use. The key is to NOT stick your kiddo at a table and give them an entire packet of worksheets to do. Some other ideas- let them watch Mo Willems Doodle each day and talk about his Piggy and Gerald books. Or check out the LIVE Cam at the Cincinnati Zoo with a new animal every day! Not ideal to be outside but need them to move and get some of their pent up energy out? Check out GoNoodle! Great songs and dancing. Even PE lessons! Have a LEGO lover? Here is a list of 30 days-worth of building activities. If you’re like me and running out of ideas for them to build – here is a quick and easy list with things like “you are hired to build a house out of only YELLOW legos” or “You are stuck on Mars and need to build a new ship to get home.” And just think – you are bringing in colors and science and size and shape! You helped teach a lesson and didn’t even try to! Are you raiding your pantry to find dinner? Talk about the colors of the boxes, the size of each one, the styles of cans – where do the items come from? Do they grow on a tree? In the ground? All of these are lessons that don’t require us to “teach.” ASL user and/or interested in learning ASL? Awesome list of signed stories. Here is a link to a huge list of on-line Livestream Activities for when we are really running in empty and just don’t know what else to do.
Lastly, are you worried about missing any of your therapy lessons? Here is a link to 6 Speech Therapy sites with lessons you can do!
I think my biggest takeaway in all of this is that we have skills we can use we don’t even know about to help our kids. But maybe the biggest thing we can do to help our kids right now is just let them know everything is okay. That school is going to open back up and that you are going to keep them safe until that happens. Because here is what is NOT canceled:
And lastly, if you need us, call us. We might not know the answer right away, but we are here to help (even if helping from our own homes amidst the chaos and mountains of schoolwork and worries and fears) and we will get through this together. Let us know how we can help!
Mary and your Beginnings SC Family
Office (remote for now): 803-216-1171