Giving Your Child the Tools to Navigate Uncertain Times

Giving Your Child the Tools to Navigate Uncertain Times

By: Emily Lian, M.Ed

It was just a few short weeks ago, when the Ivy Kids Systems team sat down to talk about a contingency plan- a worst-case, “what if” scenario as news of the spread of COVID-19 trickled in to us from across the pond. Then, everything moved so quickly and here we are, trying to navigate through unprecedented times. While we are praying for the health and safety of all of our families, we also wanted to provide you with some resources that we hope you will find helpful.

1. Breathe.

Whether you are suddenly spending thrice as much time with your child at home every day or stressing out over trying to ensure that they still learn while being taken care of, stop and take a deep breath. You are NOT a “bad” parent for compromising on your strict screen time rules because you have to hop on a Zoom meeting for work, or for letting your children have a second unhealthy snack today. We could all use a little grace and understanding during these times, so take it easy on yourself and don’t add to your stress. Be aware of your own anxiety and stressors too, so you can model positive behaviors and coping mechanisms for your child to learn from.

2. Talk to your child about COVID-19.

One of the most confusing things is not understanding why something is happening. Take the time to talk to your child about what’s going on, even if you don’t know all of the answers to questions they may have. Be honest and open about what you do know, and try to stay up-to-date with the facts by staying connected with trusted sources of information. Take cues from your child and keep explanations age appropriate. For our younger children, feeling powerless or helpless can be both overwhelming and a common sentiment. Reframe their thinking by focusing on what you’re doing to stay safe, such as washing your hands often and thoroughly. Stay in tune with their mental health and check in with them often. Explain what social distancing means, and shift the responsibility on them so they understand that “flattening the curve” is a group endeavor that requires all of our help.

Below are a few additional resources for having these conversations. We are not affiliated with any of these companies.

3. Maintain a routine.  

If your child is staying at home, every day can feel like the weekend. But, it is important to maintain some kind of daily schedule. Children thrive on predictability and routine, and it will help you keep your sanity! Be sure to schedule in blocks of time for them to free play and to spend some time outdoors, if possible. Some of the best learning happens through imaginative play, and don’t forget those naturalistic opportunities to get some fresh air!

4. Practical resources.

Fortunately, the field of education has risen up in these times of need and there is a plethora of resources out there that we can all utilize! Here are a few of our favorites that you and your children may enjoy. We are not affiliated with any of these companies.

  • Storyline Online: celebrities read children’s books
  • Google Arts and Culture: virtual field trips to museums around the world
  • The Kennedy Center: beloved children’s book author and illustrator Mo Willems hosts a daily Lunch Doodles session. Check out their YouTube channel for previous episodes.

5. Enroll in Ivy Kids Online!

Last week, we launched our very first Ivy Kids online program. We have adapted our multiple intelligence-based curriculum so that the students we serve can learn from anywhere. Best of all, these are LIVE sessions that are taught by an Ivy Kids teacher, and your child can interact with their friends (and other children their age) via a safe social distance! The weekly tuition directly helps us pay our hardworking teachers’ salaries, and this program is not limited to current Ivy Kids families (or any geographic location). For our existing students, this program offers continuity with the Ivy Kids curriculum, as Ivy Kids Online aligns with the weekly themes and learning objectives. You will receive weekly newsletters and resources with activities that you can use and reuse with your child at home. Click here, or contact your nearest Ivy Kids location today for more information on how to enroll.