Helping Parents & Children Cope with
The Covid-19 Pandemic


By Stephen Walton

During this Covid-19 Pandemic, I have provided some ideas and resources that may help parents cope in some small way at the very least.

My Personal Message to Parents

I would first like to give my heartfelt condolences to all that have lost friends and family members to this horrendous Covid-19 pandemic.

I would also like to say that I have great respect and high regard for our First Responders, Doctors, Nurses, employees of Grocery Stores, Gas Stations, Pharmacies, Truck drivers, Politicians, Mail Carriers, Sanitation Collectors, and all people working tirelessly on our behalf to help keep us safe and preserve some form of normality.

Thank you deeply for what you are doing, we could not do it without you.


If  we all love one another, respect and support each other, follow the recommended guidelines by our health specialists and political leaders, together we will get through this;

 We are Strong… We are Courageous… We are Compassionate… We are Resilient, and... We will Persevere.

It is my wholehearted belief that when we come out on the other side of this, it will be a much better world;  we will be more caring, empathetic, and will express more respect, love, kindness and compassion for one another.


Put Yourself in Your Child’s Shoes

It is difficult enough for adults to understand the breadth of this Covid-19 pandemic.  As parents, we must put the needs of our children at the forefront. Our job is to protect them and provide them with the love, support, empathy and understanding they so desperately need.

A tremendous change has been thrust upon them in such a short time. School closings, sports and other competitive events have come to an abrupt halt. Concerts, dance lessons, music lessons, karate, gymnastics, social events like birthday parties and play dates, all terminated.

In addition they are forced to deal with the added stress of physical distancing, will they or another family member get sick, will things ever get back to normal. Take a moment to consider what thoughts may be going through their young minds.

Taking Away Your Child’s
Worry & Anxiety

These changes are a tremendous loss and incomprehensible to your child. It is essential to be mindful and empathetic to their thoughts and feelings. Let them know it is normal and alright to be sad, disappointed and afraid. 

This Covid-19 issue is a time of high anxiety for both you and your child. Children watch very closely looking for emotional cues from their parents. I cannot stress enough the importance of  being a positive role model and not oversharing your own fears and anxiety. They are looking for reassurance that in time everything will be fine.

As parents it is our responsibility to shoulder the burden of anxiety and stress - not our children. Try to normalize their lives as best as you can, giving them lots of love, support, encouragement, and positive reinforcement while bonding your relationship with fun family activities.

Listen intently to their concerns and encourage them to ask questions and communicate their feelings. Reassure them that you are there for them and they will always be safe and protected with you.

The following articles will help in your communication with your child

A Quick Tip on Overload

Do not overload or bombard your child with schoolwork, remember this is an extremely challenging time for both parents and children. Integrate the work slowly.

Judy Arnall from the Alberta Home Schooling Association suggests in the video below parents need to relax, she explains how daily learning time in a smaller ratio of  1-5 students versus a class of 30 is shorter than one might think.

Home Schooling Guidlines
(by the Alberta Homeschooling Association)
Grade 1-6   Grade 7-9   Grade 10-12
30 min          1 hr.               2 hrs.


Watch this  Short Video Below



Setting A Family Schedule

  • In order to minimize stress during this Covid-19 dilemma, it is important to maintain structure in the household.
  • Fit in some regular chores for your children to develop and maintain some responsibility.
  • Whether doing a home schooling program or structured virtual classroom through your school board, attempt to maintain a schedule as close to the pre- Covid-19 pandemic issue as possible.  This will help in providing stability and ease the transition upon returning to school.
  • It is extremely important to allow regular breaks to minimize stress.
  • Try to schedule lunch time as regularly as possible where you can all sit down together. This is a wonderful opportunity to talk, keeping conversation light, relaxing and fun.
  • Fit in some time for exercise, yoga or practice mindfulness strategies. Whatever you generally do to keep healthy and keep stress levels to a minimum.

 Fitting in Some Downtime

  • Be mindful not to over schedule your children’s day.
  • It is extremely important when their scheduled schoolwork is complete to allow them free time to converse with their friends on social media or whatever means they generally use.
  • Allow your children to just be themselves with some free time to think, read, write, listen to music, color, do some crafts, whatever they choose to do to relax, release, unwind and enjoy their own time. This is extremely important at this critical time.

 Quality Family Time

  • This is a wonderful time to create deeper bonds within your family. Love, kindness, empathy, understanding and respect for one another are just a few of the wonderful virtues to focus on during these uncertain times.
  • Use this opportunity to play board games, video games, cards or watch your favourite movie.
  • Sit down as a family and utilize the various forms of technology (e.g. Skype, facetime, Zoom)  to keep in touch with family and friends. It is very important for all family members to keep ongoing communication, keeping it fun and light!
  • Get outside when and wherever possible, as long as you follow the guidelines and suggested social distancing for your particular area.  The fresh air and contact with nature is one cure for combating isolation.

Some Excellent Resources

Education

  • Scholastic Learn at Home:  (Free Resources for School Closures)

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/teaching-tools/articles/resources/scholastic-learn-at-home--free-resources-for-school-closures.html

  • The Canadian HomeSchooler

https://www.thecanadianhomeschooler.com/

  • The Ontario Federation of  Teaching Parents

https://www.ontariohomeschool.org/

  • Khan Academy  (a nonprofit with the mission to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere)

https://www.khanacademy.org/

  • PBS Kids   (has a variety of free resources to support families)

https://www.pbs.org/parents/pbskidsdaily?source=tw

  • Age of Learning  (School districts and schools that are closed can get at-home access to ABCmouse, Adventure Academy, and ReadingIQ for their students at no cost.)

https://www.ageoflearning.com/

  • Prodigy  (The engaging, curriculum-aligned math platform loved by over 50 million students, teachers and admins. No cost, ever.)

https://www.prodigygame.com/

  • Mystery Science (Due to Covid-19 they're offering their most popular science lessons to anyone to use for free.  No account or login is needed.)

https://mysteryscience.com/school-closure-planning


Excercise   (A must for parents to stay healthy & relieve stress)

  • Fitness Blender    (Workout videos for every fitness level. Absolutely free)

https://www.fitnessblender.com/

  • ClassPass  (Live and on-demand workouts you can do anywhere)

https://classpass.com/

  • 20 Minute Full Body Workout (Excellent YouTube Video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBMk30rjy0o


Social Media Apps (Stay in touch with friends & loved ones)

  • Facetime

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/facetime/id1110145091?mt=8

  • Skype

https://www.skype.com/en/

  • Zoom

https://zoom.us/

  • WhatsApp ( messaging and calling available on phones all over the world.)

https://www.whatsapp.com/

Entertainment  (Some fun ways to keep your children entertained)

  • Mommy Poppins  (an excellent site with lots of indoor activities and craft ideas for all ages)

https://mommypoppins.com/

  • The Best Ideas for Kids  (Many indoor activities and craft ideas for kids)

https://www.thebestideasforkids.com/indoor-activities-for-kids/

  • Vancouver Aquarium  ( Watch penguins, Sea Otters and Jellyfish on their live camera)

https://www.vanaqua.org/visit/live-cams-penguin

  • Calgary Zoo’s PandaCam (Watch the 2 giant Pandas live through 3 different cameras)

https://www.calgaryzoo.com/visit/animals/giant-pandas#species-tabs

  • ROM (Royal Ontario Museum - A collection of 13 million artworks, cultural objects, and natural history specimens

https://collections.rom.on.ca/?_ga=2.161541820.1209043114.1584557616-1757330353.1584557616

  • The Virtual Museum of Canada  (The largest digital source of stories and experiences shared by Canada’s museums and heritage organizations)

http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/about-vmc/

The link below was provided by one of our website visitors, Andrea from the USA and her two wonderful children. 

Austin and Lane 11 and 8 years old were searching for fun and educational ideas when they came across this website. They are very excited to share it with all our visitors. 

I would like to say...  on behalf of our visitors and of course myself:

"Thank you kindly Austin & Lane for your wonderful contribution, I’m confident our visitors will find hours of  fun and enjoyment within this website." :)

  •  Free Online Brain Teasers, Mind Games, Puzzles and More!

- Brain Teasers are a clever and fun way of challenging your brain!

- Optical Illusions are fun for all ages and can really make you think twice about how you view things.

- Riddles help get the brain juices flowing.

- Free online puzzles and educational games to keep your brain and memory sharp!

https://couponfollow.com/research/free-mind-games-puzzles



We ask that you please submit any  "free"  fun ideas or websites that will help children get through this unprecedented time.

Fun, Humor & Laughter are the best distractions during such a trying time.

It's easy:  Just fill in the form below with your suggestions.

Please Copy & Paste the URL to be sure it is correct.

Note: Your email is optional, we will not use it for any solicitation, it will only be used if we need further information on your suggestion.

Thank you sincerely,

Stephen Walton :)

Fun Activity Ideas for Kids

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