As we navigate the uncharted territory of the coronavirus COVID-19, many of us are facing closures of daycare centers and childcare programs. These closures can present major financial and emotional challenges for families. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we hope these expert tips can help you create a sense of balance during this unique time.
Coping Strategies for Childcare Closing and Social Distancing
Routines are Key
Creating a routine is one of the most important things you can do at this time. Routines offer structure and predictability, which can help your child feel safe and secure during this time of change. And routines can help you feel grounded, too. It may be helpful to try to mimic the routine your baby or toddler had at their childcare center, if that works for your family. Remember that this does not need to be a strict schedule, but rather a plan to do similar things around the same times each day. Leave room for flexibility!
Get Fresh Air
Thankfully, it’s still safe to go outside and play, as long as we’re keeping the recommended distance from others outside of the family. Carving out some time for outdoor play and fresh air can alleviate cabin fever and boost everyone’s mood. Plus, movement and Vitamin D are key things that help keep you healthy.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends avoiding outdoor areas that might be crowded, and washing your hands before and after outings.
Plan Structured Activities
During these (long) days, there will be lots of time for your child to engage in free play, alone and with you. But structured activities can not only add an element of something new to look forward to doing together each day, they can also give you peace of mind that you are supporting your child’s development. Think crafts, games, obstacle courses… Our BabySparks home activity program might be a good fit for your family, especially during this time.
Find Creative Ways to Release Stress
Stress and anxiety are inevitable during times of uncertainty, and even the littlest among us can feel it. Experts recommend finding fun ways to release tension: Join your toddler in belting out his favorite song, turn up the music and have a family dance party, even take turns yelling into a pillow if you have to. You can also use quieter approaches, such as taking a few deep breaths (alone or with your little one), or using a meditation app while your tot is sleeping. Try different things and find what works for you.
Finally, remember that parents across the planet are experiencing the same thing you are. It can be comforting to know that you are far from alone.