Our world is full of fear and uncertainty right now. These are interesting times we live in. Many of us will soon undergo social isolation if we aren't already. Schools across the country and around the world are closing and many families are scrambling to figure out how to support these major, sudden changes.
I wanted to share the post I made on our Facebook page as well as several resources you might find supportive during this time.
How to handle the current viral outbreak with young children:
1) Turn off the news around your children. Consider limiting your own media intake (while still staying informed). Your children are aware of your own fears and anxieties; do what you can to reduce those.
2) Be aware of how much information you give your children. Younger children are not developmentally able to handle most of the details of the news. When children are old enough to critically think and problem solve, they are old enough to hear about the news (around 9-10).
3) Consider what you will tell your older children who have already heard about the virus. Older children like to think about what they might do to help. This eases their anxieties. Come up with a list of how you can help your neighbors and community. Remind them you will keep them safe.
4) Spend more time outside and in the sun. Being outdoors, moving your body, getting fresh air, and being in the sun will boost your moods and your immune system.
5) Make and eat healthy meals together as a family. Have dinner time be media and screen free.
6) Play games together.
7) Make art or create things. Pick a home project you can complete together. Plant a garden or some seeds, if you're able.
8) Sing songs. Singing affects the vagal nerve and eases anxiety and trauma.
9) Give your days rhythm and consistency. Most of our communities will undergo social distancing or quarantine. If your day does not already have a rhythm, consider what it could be now. Try to make your days home as predictable and consistent as possible. Rhythm eases anxiety and overwhelm for all of us but especially our children.
10) Spend time each day holding positive thoughts and space for our world and communities. Consider starting a gratitude practice. Let's shift our focus from fear to hope.
Additionally, I wanted to share some other resources that you might find supportive: (And check back as I'm adding things as I find them.)
Two wonderful articles from WECAN (Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North American):