School is back! But this time around it has a lot precautions and stipulations. Day care centers are opening back up and parents with young children are finally back to having some much-needed support with childcare. After a year of hybrid and remote learning, feelings about returning to school are running high. A few weeks in, the novelty of school might be starting to wear off. Masks can be frustrating to wear for long periods of time, particularly for younger kids. So how can you help young kids embrace the new reality that that is school during COVID?
Make Masks Fun
A great way to help kids get on board with wearing a mask is adding a mask to their favorite toy. This is a tip from parents! Putting masks on the dolls, the trucks, the stuffies get the kids excited about masks. Kids also get excited about masks when they have a favorite character on it. It can be a chance for your child to showcase their love of Spiderman or Hello Kitty. Every time you incorporate their favorite character or toy into the routine, it’s a chance for a child to get excited about it!
Even before Corona, daycares and schools were places where kids were sure to catch their first cold. It’s bound to happen! The good news is, all the precautions we’ve taken over the past year and a half have dramatically reduced cases of the flu and common. So, keeping up with COVID procedures and helping your kids make them second nature will also reduce their, and everyone’s, chances of getting sick. Check in with your child’s teachers about how their promoting hand-washing, sanitizing, etc. and work those into your home routine.
Sleep and Nutrition
Immunity is boosted by good sleep and nutrition. That’s right, the basics! Employ all your tricks for getting picky eaters to eat their vegetables. Stick to that bedtime routine even when they put up a fight. Of course, most kids won’t want to do these on their own, but you know what’s best for your child. This is a perfect time to stick to it!
Be in the Know About Communication
Check in with your child’s school or daycare about what type of tracking system they’re using for attendance, cases, and potential exposures. ChildWatch.com has software all the resources needed for daycares to stay on top of this. It will take some stress off to know well in advance of any potential scares how to get the information that will make you feel safe and what your child’s school will need from you.
Take a Deep Breath
Parenting is hard, during a pandemic is even harder. Many young ones may struggle with the transition from being home full time to being back in school or daycare with even more procedures. There will be moments where you mess up the routine. There will be days where combining safety and fun seems impossible. There will still be meltdowns; and that’s ok. Take a deep breath, remind yourself that if you’re putting in the effort, that is enough. Particularly with a health situation, the pressure to be perfect is high, but this doesn’t need to paralyze you. When a mistake gets made, let it go and focus on what comes next. When you are calm and gracious with yourself, your child will follow suit.