As we complete the first month of this unprecedented and chaotic time in our world’s history, we want to take a moment to pause and applaud those of you now at home with your loved ones – both educating and caring for them.
Our Psychology Team at The Center for Discovery would like you to remind you to breathe and to remember five key things to help the whole family.
Create a routine or daily schedule to help structure your time at home. Start with the basics like wake-up and bed time, mealtimes, snacks and hygiene routines. Add in chores, exercise and academics when it works for your family. Most importantly, don’t forget to plan for free time! Follow non-preferred activities like helping with the laundry or a math lesson with an activity your child enjoys to motivate them. Make the schedule available for your child to see. Use colors and even pictures to make it understandable. It’s never too late to start a schedule!
Set small goals. Your new at-home routine will not be without challenges. Pick one thing you want to work on at a time, maybe getting up earlier, getting to bed earlier, eating lunch at the table, decreasing screen time. Set small goals and increase each day.
Find a way to exercise at home. If you are stuck inside, there are lots of free indoor exercise videos online from work outs to dance parties. Try playing hide and seek or having a scavenger hunt. If you can get outside, go for a walk to the mailbox or even a bike ride, do some spring yard work or just enjoy some fresh air!
Allow choice making opportunities! Not everything can be a choice, but that little bit of control you can give your child may change how they look at a non-preferred activity. For example, ask – “Do you want to brush your teeth in the hallway bathroom or upstairs?” “Do you want to take a walk outside around the house or find a dance video online?” “Do you want to work on math or reading?” The upheaval of the COVID-19 situation is affecting everyone. Giving your loved one a little control may be key to a successful day.
Don’t forget, self-care. Watch a funny video or your favorite movie. Listen to music. Pick a time to play relaxing music and try a yoga video. A hot bath is a great option for mentally and physically de-stressing. Eat well. And, get a good night’s sleep – as good food and quality sleep are the foundations of good health – especially here at The Center for Discovery.
Katie Skinner, a Behavior Analyst at The Center says not to compare your family to others. “Your routine and activities will be different than others and that’s ok, do what works for your family! Talk to your child about how they are feeling and find someone for you to talk to,” she advises, “You are not alone; New Yorkers can call the NYS COVID-19 emotional support hotline at 1-844-863-931. We are #TCFDstrong, stay safe and healthy!”
For any questions, please contact the Office of Strategic Outreach and Partnerships at StrategicOutreach@tcfd.org.