Supporting Parents with Children at Home
March 25, 2020
By Rita Mora and Diana Beltran, Prevention Educators
Working remotely is something many of us have not been acquainted with. At least not under these unprecedented circumstances that seemed to have occurred in the blink of an eye. Parents are anxious about how to continue their children's education and keep them busy while finding extra time for bonding, or to connect as a family, often while trying to get work done at the same time. MCRCC wants you to know that we are here for you, and that we want to provide as much support as we possibly can. Child Abuse Prevention Program educators have been putting a great effort in looking for ways to support parents who are working remotely, with children.
An ordinary day for Diana and me involves a lot of social interaction, and quite a bit of speaking, as we present about safety to different grade levels. We work with elementary school-aged children and we realize just how curious they are, and how they need social interaction and distractions throughout their day. Children, especially elementary-aged ones, love to ask us all kinds of questions. And, though it may not seem like it at times, they really do like to be kept busy with various types of activities. I’m not here to overwhelm anybody; each parent and child(ren) will have different needs. Please just consider these suggestions for this unusual time.
Ease into everything. A lot of you may also be working from home, so try and have a conversation with the little ones about how a specific time is work time; you can even set a schedule, like Time magazine suggests. One that is similar to a typical day at school, which would be breakfast, recess, lunch, etc around the same times they normally would have these at school. If you’re concerned about them falling behind, The Atlantic has an informative article on how to keep them busy and learning! We’ve also managed to dig up a list of free [educational] sites for elementary-aged children. And, lastly for your break time and for the weekends, we have found a list of various activities that parents can do with their children. I do hope that these have been a bit helpful. Remember, though, these are simple suggestions; it’s okay if you just read to them and don’t stress trying to teach them everything from school. We even have our own free, downloadable “Hear Me Roar!” activity book that is available in both Spanish and English.
As a final thought, I want you all to know, no matter your relationship to the child(ren) in your life, that you are doing an amazing job. It is okay if some days are less academically oriented. If all you do is hang out and play, then children will feel supported, loved, and safe, which is the most important environment any caregiver can create. We know you’re doing the best you can and we see you! There is no wrong way here. We’re all new to this.
Lastly, take care of yourself! In order to take care of your family, you’ve gotta be able to take care of yourself first. Remember: You are doing AMAZING!
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