Building Resilience: Roll into a Routine
Roll into a Routine
Routines help children feel less anxiety because they know what to expect from the day. By structuring their daily activities, you provide children with a “new normal” they can rely on. If you are at work and someone else watches your child, make the routine and ask them to help implement it. An example of a good routine includes waking up, eating breakfast, schoolwork interspersed with free-play time, naps (if appropriate), lunch, outdoor time, dinnertime, bath time, and bedtime. Try to keep bedtime and wake-up time consistent from day to day. Make the schedule together if your child is old enough and put it in a place where everybody can see it. You can even put your work schedule on it so they know when to expect you home or when you will be free from some dedicated work-at-home time. For younger children, simply maintaining the schedule as consistently as you can yourself will be reassuring to them.
As part of their daily routine, make sure children get an adequate amount of sleep. Helping children adhere to a consistent bedtime routine can help make the whole day run smoother. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations on bedtime routines can be found here and here.
Many families may be struggling with providing three meals a day for their children because of the economy. To keep your children nourished, check out the NOLA Ready website for up to
date information regarding which schools are providing free breakfast and lunch pick-ups around you. The website also has information about food pantries and mutual aid groups you can turn to for help. You can also call 2-1-1 or reach out to Second Harvest Food Bank for more help.
One helpful tool that families can turn to for learning time is Wide Open School, a free collection of the best online learning experiences that was started as a response to the pandemic. This website has options to help families make daily schedules and has options for online lessons for most core classes. Additionally, they connect kids to websites where they can take virtual field trips, get physically active, embrace their inner artist, and even practice emotional well-being.
Note: Mental health is always important, but during times of crisis it is paramount. The following guidelines are designed to support you in finding ways to cope, understanding how to practice self-care, and nurturing your connection with your child. Building Resilience: Parenting During a Pandemic is a joint effort between Louisiana Children's Museum and Tulane Institute of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health.
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