4 Ways To Support Your Kids: Back-To-School & COVID

2020 has proven to be a year of trials and growth for all of us.  With a new school year approaching (and for some, has already arrived), it’s important to have an open dialogue with our children about what to expect, how to stay safe and how they can express themselves, even with certain restrictions such as face masks and physical distancing.

GET THEM A MASK THEY CAN BE EXCITED ABOUT

Children don’t have the scope-of-understanding about this virus like adults do.  They may be confused, anxious and frustrated that they have to cover half of their face and can’t interact with others in a way that they’re used to.  Let’s face it – us adults feel the same way!

Getting your child(ren) a mask that they enjoy can encourage their desire to wear it, thus keeping them and others around them more safe.  Affordable and unique masks can be found online or purchased from a local drugstore, and generally range in price from $5-15.  They can be decorated with anything from butterfly print to the alphabet to movie characters, such as Spider Man and Black Panther, so there’s lots of options.

Please remind your little one to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer prior to taking off or putting on their face mask.  It’s also good for you to wear your mask in public, so that you are setting a good example.

RECESS GAMES AT A DISTANCE

Depending on your governing county and the rules that they apply when it comes to COVID-19, you may find your child becoming antsy not being able to play with their friends at recess like they used to.  Here are some fun socially-distanced activity ideas that you can incorporate, so that kids can still enjoy their play-time.

Fitness Relay: Set up into teams of 3 (ensuring everyone is at least 6 feet from one another).  Set up cones in front of each team in a straight line to distinguish the start and finish areas. The leader will call out an exercise (ie jumping jacks, push-ups, toe-touches, etc.) and when the leader yells “Go!”, the first players of each team will run to the cone and perform that exercise. Then, they run back to the starting cone and the next person goes. The first team to have all players finished, wins!

Mirror, Mirror: Players pick a partner and face each other keeping at least 6 feet of distance.  One child is deemed the leader, and the others must mirror their movements.  Talking and/or giving hints isn’t allowed, so pay close attention!  The leader tries to come up with as many movements as possible while the others follow along.  Switch leaders after 2 minutes.

ACUPRESSURE!

Even with the above suggestions, kids are likely to get stressed and hold tension in their bodies while learning to navigate this new world.  If your child shows signs of headaches or stress, show them the below acupressure points to relieve some of their symptoms.  Each point can be massaged on both sides for 1-3 minutes at a time.

Pericardium 6: NeiGuan “Inner Gate”

This point is located bilaterally on the inside of the forearm, roughly three finger widths below the wrist crease, between the two tendons.  PC6 is a great point to alleviate nausea, chest tightness, motion sickness, anxiety and stress, just to name a few.  It’s an excellent point to calm the mind and spirit.

Kidney 1: YongQuon “Bubbling Spring”

This is an incredibly effective point for calming and settling the mind.  It’s located on the bottom of the foot, approximately 1/3rd the distance from the tips of your toes to your heel, in a depression created when your toes are pointing downward.  The energy of this point helps to bring Qi from the upper part of the body down, thus helping us to feel more grounded, so it’s also effective for headaches and insomnia.

COMMUNICATION

All things considered, this fresh school year will undoubtedly be challenging because it breaks conventional norms, but that also means that there’s new opportunities for growth and communication.  This presents a chance to have a conversation with our kid(s) about what it’s like to live through this unique time and to check in with them about how they’re feeling. 

Hopefully, this offers us an opportunity to teach our children how to still have fun, socialize and spend time with their friends, all while prioritizing and protecting the health of their loved ones at home.

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