The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 has forced many school districts to close their doors and implement an online distance learning program. Numerous employers have also asked their employees to work from home rather than in the office. These drastic changes are being implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19. While these regulations have been enforced with everyone’s health and safety in mind, many parents and children are struggling to keep up with their daily lives. Luckily, the American Academy of Pediatrics has a few tips and tricks that may help ease this adjustment.

Social Distancing

With shorter school hours and online tasks that can be completed whenever, it is rather tempting for children to want to go outside and play at the local park or have sleepovers with their friends. Unfortunately, play dates or other large gatherings will do more harm than good during the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals need to keep a safe distance of at least six feet from those around them, and avoid any crowds or large gatherings whenever possible. Adhering to an executive social distancing order will help to protect you, your loved ones, and everyone in your community from falling ill to the virus. Consider calling, texting, or video chatting with friends and relatives during this time to keep in touch while maintaining a safe distance from each other.

Stick to a Routine

This one may take some time to implement, but creating a new routine around your “new” daily life will make things a lot easier for both parents and children alike. Try starting your day at the same time every morning and completing wellness tasks such as bathing or brushing your teeth directly after. Eat breakfast and decide on how to plan out your day. Talk with one another to figure out what time frames may work best for you and your partner or spouse so that you may each accomplish items on your to-do lists without feeling rushed or overwhelmed. For school-age children, Southwood Learning recommends that you include your child into your daily routines and have a clear cut plan laid out for them in terms of schoolwork and playtime. Be sure to schedule time for delicious snacks, lunch, and breaks. Consider having dinner each evening as a family, which may be a nice treat from the COVID-19 pandemic for couples and children if one parent is usually away in the evening.

Limit and Monitor Screen Time

It is easy to get lost in TV, gaming systems, and the internet when the world outside of your home has seemingly shut down. Many parents are concerned about the amount of time their child is now spending with the digital world. Southwood Learning understands that online schooling has offered a wider range of learning experiences for students, but it is important to set limits on the amount of time your child engages with a screen. Consider using your time online together to find new things to do outdoors and create new experiences together.