A lot of families are finding themselves in uncharted territory right now. Working parents who suddenly find themselves working from home combined with children who suddenly have no school can be a recipe for disaster. But there’s a way to turn what could be a negative into a positive for the whole family.
Dr. Stephen Lassen is a pediatric psychologist at The University of Kansas Health System and in the video, he has some great advice. He says the two most important things are to maintain routines and create new schedules. Routines are what drive our lives and sticking to them provides a lot of comfort to our kids. At the same time, it’s important to create a new schedule and stick with it. Lassen stresses there’s going to be an adjustment for parents and kids, just like back-to-school time, and parents need to be patient. Behavior problems from the kids are usually from the stress. He suggests conversations such as, “It seems like you’re really frustrated right now. I’m really frustrated that I can’t go into work. What’s it like for you not being able to go to school and see your friends?” He tells parents that there will probably be an increase in screen time for their kids, and not to get too caught up on counting minutes. It’s more important they’re doing something educational rather than playing Minecraft. He says it’s very important to get kids outside and active, with proper social distancing, and to look at it as a real opportunity to bring the family closer together. Activities like going out on a nature walk or exploring the constellations together at night are examples.